BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) — A domestic violence case involving a former University of Colorado football assistant coach accused of repeatedly beating his girlfriend has been delayed. The prosecution revealed the plea offer that the defense wanted Joe Tumpkin to accept.
However, the alleged victim was not in court and the case was continued until Feb. 1, 2019. Judge Michael Goodbee wants the prosecution and the defense to submit paperwork on why the judge should approve the deal. Under the deal, Tumpkin would plead to a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault as domestic violence. All felony charges would be dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.
The alleged victim told CBS4 she fears Tumpkin is going to get off easy, so she filed a long objection to a proposed plea deal. Pamela Fine spoke with CBS4 reporter Rick Salinger on Tuesday night. She said she would not be in court Wednesday because she was having surgery out of state. The judge ruled Fine has the right to be at the hearing under the Crime Victim’s Rights Act.
She said she was not happy with what she believed would happen in court on Wednesday.
Fine told Salinger that Tumpkin was physically abusive — and even choked and bit her. She said it happened over 100 times in two years.
“He would become enraged and throw me up against walls and tell me I wasn’t going anywhere and (he would) get on top of me and strangle me and bite my face,” Fine said.
Tumpkin was charged with numerous felony counts, but the case stalled in a dispute over evidence from Fine’s cellphone that went to the Colorado State Supreme Court.
He was suspended by the university and eventually fired.
“I feel angry and betrayed, I feel frightened,” Fine said after she was told of the plea deal.
“It was extremely important to me that he receive one felony so that he could never work with kids again.”
When Sallinger asked her why she stayed with Tumpkin, she said when she threatened to leave after the abuse, he would give her flowers and other things, so she stayed.
With contributions by CBS4’s Rick Sallinger. He is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.