- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—CHEYENNE — Laramie County District Court Judge Steven Sharpe on Monday rejected a plea agreement that suggested a local man serve five months in jail for beating his father.

Sharpe instead sent Peter M. Lovato to prison for one to two years.

“Your case is a very difficult one, Mr. Lovato, but I can’t ignore, in this case, your criminal history,” the judge said. “I can’t follow the plea agreement in this case.”

Formal charging documents say Lovato punched his father in the head and kicked him.

He was charged after the incident with a felony domestic battery offense.

That means he has at least two prior convictions for committing similar offenses against household members. Documents say his previous convictions were in September 2010 and October 2013.

Lovato pleaded guilty back in February after signing the plea agreement.

His attorney, public defender Don Miller, told the judge Monday that time already served would be an appropriate sentence because he already has spent 10 months in jail.

Lovato, when given a chance to address the court, expressed remorse for his actions.

“I apologize to my dad for being the way I did,” he said, later adding, “I’m really sorry for what I’ve done. I wasn’t brought up that way at all.”

Lovato also told the judge he’s been in anger management and relapse prevention classes at the jail, along with going to Addicts Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, Bible studies and church.

Tito Lovato, the victim, spoke during his son’s sentencing hearing.

He said his son started drinking 20 years ago after his mother died.

But he didn’t get to say much else, because the judge began talking about Peter Lovato’s criminal history.

Sharpe said Peter Lovato’s pre-sentence report included a 25-page criminal history that’s had him in and out of prison.

“I’ve never seen a criminal history quite as extensive, I don’t think, as this one,” he said, later adding that probation in this case would be “clearly inappropriate.”

According to court documents:

Officers responded to a domestic disturbance at Tito Lovato’s house to find him bleeding from his right eye. He also had a bruise on the left side of his head and a swollen lip and appeared to be disoriented.

Tito Lovato told police his son came over and asked to come inside, but he denied the request when he noticed his son was intoxicated.

Peter Lovato became angry and punched his father in the head three or four times until he fell to the ground, then he kicked him once, his father told police.

After the incident, an officer found Peter Lovato drinking at the Lamp Lounge in the 100 block of West Sixth Street.

He initially told police he didn’t know what happened to his father, and that he was last at his house a week prior.

He later said he stopped by that morning to say “hi,” and eventually said he got into an argument with Tito Lovato and pushed him.

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(c)2015 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.)

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