EAGLE — Emily Anderson quietly cried as she stood in court, telling the judge she was ready to get on with the next phase of her life — 12 years in state prison.
Anderson, 28, of Bond, surprised prosecutors when she admitted she beat her boyfriend unconscious with a table leg. She’s eligible for parole in five years.
She gets credit for the time she has already spent behind bars – 312 days at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, and 313 days at 4 p.m. when that clock rolls over once again from the time she was booked into the Eagle County jail.
She was paying attention. In her court documents Thursday, she found a mistake in the list of charges, and they had her height and weight wrong.
Anderson sat quietly at the defendant’s table as the attorneys debated her fate, her hands in her lap and her shoulder-length auburn hair neatly styled and braided close to her head.
With the Wrong Crowd
She attended a local high school and was active in sports, but for a large portion of her adult life she ran with the wrong people, said her attorney, Terry O’Connor.
Prosecutor Rebecca Wiard said Anderson could have been facing murder charges because the victim, who was not in court, could have easily died.
“This was a very serious assault,” Wiard said. “He had bleeding inside his head and could have ended up in a coma and died. He survived and is able to function. If he hadn’t we’d be looking at a much different set of circumstances.”
Anderson was composed but tearful as she stood at the courtroom podium, addressing District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman.
“I stand before you today taking responsible for my actions,” she said through her tears. “I’m taking this sentence with the mindset of improving my life. I will make better lifestyle choices, and better choices about the people I let into my life.”
“It takes a lot to rise above emotional, physical and sexual abuse. In this next chapter of my life, in the Department of Corrections, I intend to take classes that will help me better myself,” she said.
“I’ll have help from my loved ones and with their help, I will not fail,” she said.
Dunkelman called it an “unusual” sentencing.
“Twelve years is a long time,” Dunkelman said. “If things had gone in another direction, you could be sitting here facing a much longer sentence.
Dunkelman said he was impressed by Anderson’s candor and honesty.
“You were honest in this pre-sentencing investigation, both good and bad,” he told Anderson. “You’ve had some tough things happen in your life and problems with alcohol and drugs. I think you will come out of this as a woman who has a life and can contribute to society.”
Charges stem from April 27, 2013 when, during a fight, she beat her boyfriend of three years with a wooden table leg, causing severe injury to his head and arm.
Prosecutors say the fight ended when he lost consciousness.
Friends of the victim found him lying in a pool of blood and called 911.
When Eagle County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, they noticed a disconnected table leg that appeared to have blood on it. By that time the victim had regained consciousness.
The man had suffered a large head wound and was taken to the hospital, where it was determined he had suffered a skull fracture, bleeding inside his skull, a broken left forearm and multiple cuts on his scalp and face.
Police located Anderson the following day and arrested her.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vail daily.com.