FARMINGTON -- Ashlee Bambrough did not expect to see almost 60 people come into the courtroom to support her.
Friends and family members wore purple shirts and purple ribbons and filled up almost every bench in the courtroom to show their support for the woman who was assaulted by Brandon Sloper.
Sloper, 25, of Marriott-Slaterville, appeared before Judge David C. Hamilton for a sentencing hearing on Wednesday in 2nd District Court.
Hamilton sentenced Sloper to serve one to 15 years in the Utah State Prison. Sloper pleaded no contest to aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, and unlawful detention, a class B misdemeanor.
A plea of no contest means a defendant does not admit guilt but agrees there is probably sufficient evidence to result in a conviction.
A judge treats no contest as a guilty plea when it comes to sentencing and is not bound by any agreements between attorneys or by recommendations made in a presentence report.
The hearing lasted about two hours on Wednesday, with 90 minutes devoted to statements from Bambrough and her parents, a statement from Sloper, and arguments from the attorneys. The judge took a 20-minute break to review the presentence reports, the letters and to go over notes he took during the hearing.
Extra Davis County Sheriff's deputies came into the courtroom when the judge returned at 1:30 p.m. to sentence Sloper.
While announcing the sentence, Hamilton said that he understands there is a disagreement concerning how Bambrough ended up on Highway 193 on July 2, 2011.
Bambrough has said Sloper pushed her out of the moving truck after he hit her 10 or 11 times during an argument. Sloper has maintained that Bambrough jumped out of the truck.
"We do know Mr. Sloper struck Ms. Bambrough 10 to 11 times with significant force," Hamilton said. "We do know her hand was injured severely enough that it required two surgeries."
Hamilton said it was "appropriate" and "natural" for Bambrough to try to escape from Sloper's blows, so how she left the truck was not crucial.
Hamilton also said he believed Sloper to be sincere when he told Bambrough and her family he was sorry for his actions that day.
"That was not a normal thing, for us to battle like that," Sloper said. "It is still confusing to me."
Bambrough's mother, Christina Kim, spoke to the judge. Hamilton warned Bambrough's parents that they must keep their statements in court about what happened to their daughter and not talk about any other women or other incidents concerning Sloper.
However, at one point during her statement Kim did speak about another incident involving another woman and Hamilton said, "I told you I will cut you off."
"This is about the near- fatal beating of my daughter," Kim said.
"He broke her hand, pulled her hair, punched her multiple times and left her on the road by herself.
"This is not about a broken finger," Kim said. "This is about an incredibly violent act."
Bambrough said at the end of her statement, "I'd hate to hear (Sloper) did this to another girl a few years from now and she ends up dead."
Sloper's attorney, Glen Thomas, said after the hearing that Sloper knew there was a chance he would have to go to prison when he accepted the plea deal, but had hoped he would serve a jail sentence with work release so he could provide for his two children with another woman.
"I am disappointed with the judge's decision," Thomas said.
Bambrough said after the hearing she was scared the judge would go along with the one year in jail sentence, which was recommended in the presentence report.
She believes the judge listened to Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings' arguments.
Rawlings pointed out in arguments that the presentence report only focused on Bambrough's broken finger, not on the other injuries or the beating she received inside the truck.
"It was more than just a broken finger," Bambrough said.