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Kidnapper sentenced to 16 years

Greenhaw
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

“Eighteen hours of torture,” as a Nevada County prosecutor called it, brought a Grass Valley man 16 years in prison Monday.

Jesse James Greenhaw received the sentence in Nevada County Superior Court.

It was part of a plea bargain for his pleading no contest to kidnapping, criminal threats, dissuading a witness with force and assault with a deadly weapon for the January attack on his then girlfriend at her Grass Valley apartment.



Tattooed from the neck down, Greenhaw, 28, appeared subdued during the entire hearing. He chatted with his public defender and paid little attention as Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Kull outlined details of his attack. He had no reaction when Judge Ersel Edwards pronounced the sentence.

A Probation Department presentence report made public after sentencing shows a less passive figure:




Greenhaw had gone to his girlfriend’s apartment Jan. 18 to change into clothes for a date they had planned. But she had learned he had cheated on her, and when she arrived home, she confronted him.

In response, Greenhaw started shoving the woman. Then he sat on her chest, choked her, grabbed her by the hair, and threw her to the ground, causing her to strike her head on the ground.

Next, he hit and punched her, then kept her pinned to a couch for hours. The abuse continued into the next day as he waved knives at her and scared her into turning away visitors.

Along the way he “went into rages about being the devil and killing himself,” the report says, threatening that police would need at least two body bags in the end.

The woman once tried to protect herself with a pillow.

“He told her the pillow wouldn’t stop what she had coming,” Kull said.

Kull also said Greenhaw sexually assaulted the woman, but a rape charge in the case was later dropped.

Out of fear, the woman didn’t talk with police until Jan. 22, the probation report says.

Despite that initial fear, the victim later reconciled with Greenhaw and visited him several times in jail. She wasn’t in court Monday, and she issued no victim-impact statement.

“It’s standard,” Kull said. “Eighty percent of victims go back to their abusers.”


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