Crime

Morro Bay man accused of torturing ex-girlfriend takes plea deal

Andrew David Mattson, 27, was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, on suspicion of felony domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, torture and false imprisonment. Original story »
Andrew David Mattson, 27, was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, on suspicion of felony domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, torture and false imprisonment. Original story »

A Morro Bay man standing trial for allegedly torturing his then-girlfriend in 2011 accepted a plea deal with a 16-year prison sentence Thursday after attempting to replace his attorney on the second day of testimony.

Andrew David Mattson, 30, was facing 14 felony counts of torture, forced oral copulation, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, false imprisonment, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, robbery and criminal threats. He also faced three charges of committing a felony within five years of a prison term.

He originally pleaded not guilty to all counts.

On Thursday, Mattson filed a motion to fire his court-appointed attorney, San Luis Obispo-based Robert Bettencourt. Superior Court Judge Roger Picquet denied the request.

Out of the presence of the jury and audience, Mattson accepted the plea agreement and pleaded guilty to four counts of assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury, inflicting corporal injury to a spouse and robbery, as well as two of the three prison priors.

The District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case.

Bettencourt did not return a request for comment.

In opening statements Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Julie Antos said Mattson and his girlfriend were regular drug users.

The victim in the case, identified in court only as Jane Doe due to the graphic nature of the alleged abuse, testified that on the night of Aug. 2, 2011, Mattson, armed with a kitchen knife, bound her wrists and ankles with shoelaces and locked her in a closet in the apartment they shared.

She testified that Mattson, who suspected her of having a sexual relationship with another man, let her out of the closet after an hour and drove her to a mutual friend’s “drug house” in Nipomo where they both took methamphetamine. They both returned to Morro Bay later that night and she went to work the next morning before reporting Mattson to the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Bettencourt argued in opening statements that the pair had a drug-fueled confrontation days before Mattson’s arrest when the victim allegedly threatened to report him for domestic violence, but they got back together a day later.

Under the plea deal, Mattson is required to serve at least 85 percent of his 16-year sentence, in state prison.

Mattson remains in custody at the County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail until his scheduled sentencing Sept. 3 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

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