A Butte man has volunteered to wear an alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet at a personal cost of nearly $22,000 for the duration of a five-year suspended sentence for assaulting his wife.
But Shane Hemphill, 33, through his lawyer, Walter Hennessey, said Thursday the device is a “godsend” – having helped keep him sober since the court ordered him to start wearing it in December.
On Thursday, Judge Brad Newman gave Hemphill a five-year suspended sentence, including mandatory wearing of the device, for family member assault. The device notifies authorities if the wearer consumes alcohol.
Police arrested Hemphill on Aug. 7, 2009, in an incident in which he held his wife down, assaulted her and wouldn’t let her leave their home for almost three hours. It was his third charge of partner or family member assault, court records state.
He pleaded guilty in January.
Newman said Thursday that the sentence is unusual, because Hemphill agreed to be a “prisoner of your own body.”
The court ordered Hemphill to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet in December when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving. Hennessey said Hemphill hasn’t had a drink since, is employed and is a productive citizen.
Hemphill must pay $12 a day to wear the ankle bracelet, which comes to nearly $22,000 for five years.
The judge noted that Hemphill’s chemical dependency has been the root of his history of legal problems.
Newman warned Hemphill not to “backslide” and drink while serving the suspended sentence, or he could go to prison.