By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
Judicial District Judge Dan Papez sentenced Mindi Raholt to 36 months in prison with a minimum of 12 months for parole on Feb. 26 for striking teenage girl in the face with a glass.
Raholt, 31, was charged with battery causing significant bodily harm, a category C felony, and child abuse in the incident after she smashed a glass across a 15-year-old girl’s face causing permanent scarring at a party on Sept. 2, 2012.
White Pine County Deputy District Attorney Mike Wheable stated in the sentencing hearing there are some things that the court can’t tolerate.
“There are a couple of things we can not let pass,” he said. “Violence and crimes against children. We teach our children to not resolve problems with their fists or with violence, and yet here we have an adult who did just that.”
The issue began when Raholt walked into a house where teenagers were partying. While both sides argued whether or not she was invited, both agreed on the fact that Raholt did nothing to disrupt the underage drinking occurring at the party, instead joining in, a fact that disturbed Papez.
“A lot of what happened that night doesn’t make sense to me,” Papez said during his ruling. “From everything I have read from the record, you became part of the underage drinking. However this escalated to the violence that it did is very disturbing.”
According to testimony given at the preliminary hearing for the case, an argument broke out when a teenage girl at the party tried to get Raholt to leave. That is when Raholt picked up a glass and smashed it across the teenager’s face, causing wounds that Papez described as “horrible.”
“A teenage girl was severely injured when you struck her with a glass. The wounds are gross. The laceration here is horrible and deep. You caused that to happen,” Papez said.
Raholt, who broke out into tears during her defense, pleaded for mercy from the court and said she regretted her actions. Her attorney Michael Castillo argued Raholt acted in self-defense, and Raholt is recognized by family and friends as a kind person who didn’t deserve a prison sentence.
“There were no winners on that night. I ask the court for leniency and to be merciful,” Castillo said.
Castillo contended the toll the case had taken on Raholt’s family during the 17-month period from when she was first booked, coupled with probation would serve as suitable punishment.
Wheable countered that Raholt needed to take responsibility for her actions and accept that one to three years in prison was as much of a break as she deserved.
“It’s going to get real right now and I’m going to sound like the bad guy. I believe that she understands how stupid her actions were and that her emotion is real, but that is not punishment enough,” Wheable said.