Ex-Pierce County sheriff’s sergeant sentenced for choking girlfriend, threatening her with machete

TACOMA, Wash. — A former Pierce County sheriff’s sergeant has been sentenced for choking his girlfriend and threatening her with a machete.

Robert Carpenter, 52, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court to second-degree domestic violence assault, The News Tribune reported.

Judge TaTeasha Monique Davis sentenced him to six months in jail, which is at the low end of a standard sentencing range.

Early on Nov. 14, Carpenter returned to his Puyallup home drunk, slapped his girlfriend awake and over two hours, choked her several times, held a machete near her throat and threatened to kill her and her children, according to court documents.

He eventually surrendered to a SWAT team at his home and has been in custody since then. The woman told law enforcement she thought she would die during the attack, documents said.

Less than a month before, Carpenter had been sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to felony harassment in a 2018 stabbing in Tacoma. He was subsequently fired from the sheriff’s department after working there for 25 years.

Other charges in the November assault, including kidnapping, assault and harassment, were dropped as part of a plea agreement, prosecuting attorney’s office spokesperson Adam Faber said.

Carpenter’s attorney, Bradley Barshis, told the newspaper he thought it was a good resolution and that Carpenter wasn’t someone who needed to stay in jail.

“This is a guy that has essentially served and protected our community for 25 years,” Barshis said. “An individual who worked on the SWAT team and made sure our communities were made safe.”