Domestic violence case started in the car

Thursday , June 12, 2014 - 6:18 PM

Standard-Examiner staff

TREMONTON -- A 45-year-old Willard man has been charged with beating his 39-year-old Tremonton girlfriend, at one point threatening to kill her with a screwdriver.

A July 1 status conference was set for Doug Hulse after his arraignment this week in 1st District Court. The victim was too frightened of Hulse to write a formal statement about the altercation, according to charging documents. But she has since filed a protective order against him in court.

Hulse during an argument began beating the woman with his fists in his vehicle, calling her a whore as they drove toward Tremonton, according to police interviews on the May 27 mid-day attack.

He used objects in the car to strike her and at one point shifted his watchband over his knuckles as he punched her. He kept her from leaving the car after he parked during the assault, according to a probable cause affidavit.

“The last thing he did” ... was to hold her in a headlock and grab a screwdriver to tell her “she’d be better off if she died,” according to the affidavit.

Saying she feared for her life, she then struggled to break free and fled the vehicle and “stood in traffic so a car would stop and help her.”

One did and she got in, despite Hulse screaming at her not to get in the car. Some seven hours later, police located Hulse at the woman’s residence on a tip and arrested him.

The Box Elder Sheriff’s Office as well as Tremonton police were involved and Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Potter said the case appeared to be part of a typical domestic violence cycle police often see, where a “honeymoon” period follows an assault, as the perpetrator’s remorse sets in.

Which was apparently why Hulse was at the woman’s home, he said. It’s not unusual to see a battered victim’s self worth restored by her battering partner as he promises to change his behavior, Potter said.

It was staff at the Bear River Valley Hospital who called police. Doctors determined the woman had suffered no broken bones. Once she was released from the hospital, police found she was wanted on a drug warrant out of Farmington and she was arrested.

The couple once shared worker’s compensation fraud charges in 2011, according to court files. She was charged for collecting more than $5,000 in benefits for children she no longer had custody of, lost to the state because of her substance abuse issues.

Charges against Hulse were later dismissed for what was only a minor role in the scam. She eventually made full, court-ordered restitution.

Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister

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