Judge David Mobley more than likely prepares himself for courtroom drama every day he takes the bench.
And the hearing for Arnold Pargeon was probably one of those he'll never forget.
Pargeon, 51, was originally charged with second degree attempted murder, second degree domestic assault and felonious restraint, but thanks to a plea bargain, only two of those charges are going on his record.
Pargeon plead guilty to second degree assault and felonious restraint in Ralls County Court Wednesday afternoon and Mobley sentenced him to 12 years in prison with the Missouri Department of Corrections — seven years for the assault charge and five years for the felonious restraint. But there was a final plea to Mobley to have Pargeon serve time concurrently instead of consecutively, as noted in the plea agreement per Ralls County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Rapp.
The pleas for a shorter time behind bars didn't only come from Pargeon, but from his victim too.
Susan Marie Meranda, the woman Pargeon attacked, was visibly anxious as she sat in the courtroom waiting for Pargeon's case to be called.
She was trembling, she was wiping away tears, she was letting out deep, loud breaths of air that eventually caught Mobley's attention, who advised her to wait in the lobby until Pargeon's case was called.
And when that happened, that's when things got interesting.
The legal process took place. Rapp told the court all of the things Pargeon did and how it would be proven if the case went to a jury. The judge went through some formalities and then Pargeon got to explain his side of it all. It was mainly the same story as Rapp's, but Pargeon's loud voice and country accent painted a picture for the courtroom.
"Mainly I just slapped her," Pargeon said as he adjusted his posture and tried to mimic his handcuffed wrists. "I did say I was going to kill her and go to prison for the rest of my life. I slapped the s*** out of her."
Pargeon went on to say he suspected Meranda of stealing his "stuff" and that she initiated the contact by hitting him first. That's when Pargeon said he tackled Meranda after she tried to get away from him. Then he said he pulled her by her feet across the lawn and into the house. He repeated again he was going to kill Meranda and spend the rest of his life in prison.
"I had no intention to (kill her)," Pargeon said. "I never had a charge of this nature in my life. I'm willing to stand up and be a man."
Pargeon continued to plead that his sentences run concurrently. He said he's been incarcerated with the Department of Corrections five different times and said a 12-year sentenced would only be served in 10 years.
Page 2 of 2 - Throughout this time Meranda periodically looked at Pargeon, hung her head, wiped away tears and let out more deep, loud breaths.
When Pargeon was finished talking, she was given the opportunity to address the court.
"God, forgive him. I forgive him," Meranda said to Mobley. "I'd like to see him get the minimum ... I don't want to be responsible to take a man away from his life. I love him."
She then focused on Pargeon.
"Arnold," she said with a trembling voice, "I love you with all my heart and God loves you. Please let go."
After handing down the sentence, Mobley addressed Pargeon one last time.
"I don't know that I would have accepted this plea other than the fact she (Meranda) is willing to forgive you," Mobley said.
"May God judge you some day your honor," Pargeon shouted.
He then leaned behind his attorney. "And you too, Mr. Rapp," he said with a thumb's up.
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