Ludington man faces life in prison for kidnapping, strangling girlfriend.

May 22, 2018

Kapala

Ludington man faces life in prison for kidnapping, strangling girlfriend.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

OTTAWA COUNTY — A Ludington man is facing a possible life sentence for holding his girlfriend against her will and assaulting her in late December of last year. Jason Matthew Kapala, 30, of Ludington appeared in Ottawa County’s 20th Circuit Court on Monday, May 21, 2018 where he pleaded no contest to unlawful imprisonment, assault by strangulation, domestic violence third offense, felonious assault and being a habitual offender..

Kapala was arrested Jan. 11, 2018 by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office on several charges related to an incident that occurred in his girlfriend’s apartment just before Christmas 2017.

According to reports, between Dec. 23-24, Kapala got angry with his girlfriend while visiting her home and head-butted her, injuring her nose. He also held a knife to her throat and did not let her leave, choked her until her vision was impaired and she felt weak and forced her into a car against her will.

During the incident, the victim’s 6-year-old child was present in the apartment. Though the victim suffered significant injuries, the child was unharmed.

The incident was not reported to police until Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 when the victim presented herself at a medical facility for treatment of her injuries sustained during the incident.

Kapala was charged with kidnapping/domestic assault- unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, felonious assault, and habitual offender, fourth offense.

“It’s just a sad, classic case of domestic violence by someone who, frankly, is quite a menace,” said Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mark Bennett in January. “The victim was held against her will in her own apartment. She was ultimately able to leave there of her own accord, but not until she was held there for over a day.”

Kapala pleaded no contest to unlawful imprisonment, assault by strangulation, domestic violence third offense, felonious assault and being a habitual offender. Because he is a habitual offender, the first three charges are punishable by up to life in prison. Without the repeat offender charges, Kapala would still have faced up to 34 years in prison. He is also facing up to $32,000 in fines.

In exchange for his no contest plea, Kapala will not be prosecuted for an additional count of criminal sexual conduct.

“This was an extremely serious assault and there will be some serious consequences as a result of this,” said Judge Jon Hulsing before accepting Kapala’s May 21 plea. “You’re looking at life (in prison).”

While Kapala has no prior convictions in Ottawa County, he has an extensive criminal history in Mason County, including domestic violence, assaulting/resisting police, and strangulation.

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