Sprague man free despite misgivings of prosecutor

A Sprague man charged with attempting to kill his girlfriend last month has been released on a $500,000 real estate bond despite the misgivings of a longtime prosecutor who called it one of the most egregious domestic violence cases he's ever seen.

Jon W. Hoffman, 36, had been held in lieu of $1 million cash or surety bond since he was charged May 4 with the prolonged attack on the mother of his infant child at his home at 46 Bushnell Hollow Road. He is charged with attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault, first-degree strangulation, risk of injury to a minor and interfering with an emergency call.

Judge Patrick J. Clifford reduced Hoffman's bond to $500,000 on Thursday, after defense attorney Donald J. DiFrancesca argued Hoffman has no criminal record, turned himself into police after the incident and has a job waiting at a local auto body shop.

Hoffman posted the bond in court on Monday, putting up as collateral two homes and a business. He will be living in Canterbury, monitored by the Office of the Bail Commissioner, and is to leave home only to go to work at an auto body shop in Sprague.

New London prosecutor Lawrence J. Tytla had argued against the bond reduction, citing the severity of the victim's injuries and her statements that she fears Hoffman, who threatened to kill her during the incident, will follow through.

"This may well be the most egregious non-homicidal spousal assault case I've seen in my career," Tytla said.

The victim said Hoffman attacked her after she told him a window had been broken accidentally. She said he stabbed her with a screwdriver, kicked her with steel-toed boats, beat her about the face and head and attempted to strangle her. She was treated for puncture wounds to her head and face and bruises that resulted in both eyes swelling shut. Her nose and jaw were broken.

The judge agreed the severity of the case warrants "an extremely high bond" and said the Bail Commissioner's office would be using electronic monitoring or GPS to track Hoffman's movements. Both the prosecutor and judge repeatedly warned Hoffman that he is to have no contact whatsoever with the victim or their infant child.

Hoffman is due back in court on Aug. 22.


Karen Florin, Day Staff Writer


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