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Spitting boyfriend gets just deserts

Nothing quite crosses the line like spitting in someone’s face.

Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court recognized that spitting in a domestic violence situation is much more than a matter of ugly behavior. 

Sure, breaking up is hard to do, but you gotta let it go. That’s what Timothy Lee Hobbs should have done.

Unfortunately, Hobbs evidently still had lover’s remorse back in 2008 when he saw his ex-girlfriend, Patricia McClain, having her nails done at a salon in Pahrump, Nevada.

Hobbs entered the salon and angrily spouted off about her wasting money on getting a manicure.

Since how McClain spent her money was no longer any of his concern, one doesn’t need to be Sigmund Freud to figure out that there were unresolved feelings still at work with Mr. Hobbs.

After a short argument, Hobbs left the salon. But he just had to get in a final word, so he returned. That’s how Hobbs ended up in prison.

The argument over the manicure resumed.

Now, Hobbs is reportedly a six-time felon, so self control is not one of his strong suits. Sure enough, Hobbs’ feelings got the best of him and he spit in McClain’s face.

Placing an exclamation point on the whole affair, Hobbs then went outside and tossed a rock through the windshield of McClain’s car.

Of course, police caught up with Hobbs. He was arrested and charged with domestic battery and related offenses. 

A jury found Hobbs guilty of domestic battery and injury to other property. With his priors, the trial judge enhanced his sentence and sent Hobbs to High Desert State Prison for a maximum of 25 years.

Before the Nevada Supreme Court, Hobbs argued that spitting did not constitute the use of force or violence required for a battery under the state’s domestic violence law.

Thursday, the state high court removed any doubt on that question.

The court found that the language and meaning of Nevada’s domestic battery statute is clear and that battery is the intentional and unwanted exertion of force upon another, however slight.

“Because the record clearly demonstrates that Hobbs intentionally spat on McClain and because spitting on another amounts to the use of force or violence as contemplated by [the statute], we conclude that Hobbs was properly convicted of domestic battery,” the court said. (Hobbs v. Nevada

Unfortunately, the state fumbled the ball in proving that Hobbs was a habitual criminal. Accordingly, the court decided that his sentence had been improperly enhanced.

So Hobbs gets to be released from prison after serving two years.

Hobbs’ lawyer, Harry Kuehn, complained to The Pahrump Valley Times that his client ends up serving two years for an offense that ordinarily would result in a six-month stretch in prison. 

Somehow, it’s hard to conjure up sympathy for a guy who spits in a woman’s face.

— Pat Murphy

patrick.murphy@lawyersusaonline.com

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