Darrin Hirsh was taken to the Barton County Jail on Tuesday afternoon, after being found guilty of one count of aggravated assault, two counts of criminal threat and one count of domestic battery, all involving an altercation on March 12, 2013, with Candice Hirsh, who was his wife at the time. The jurors also ruled that each of these crimes was an act of domestic violence.
At the conclusion of his jury trial in Barton County District Court, he also was found not guilty of two counts of violation of a protective order and two counts of intimidation of a witness, which were alleged to have occurred on March 11 and 12, 2014. One of those counts was dismissed by District Judge Ron Svaty before sending the jury to deliberate, and the jury found him not guilty of the other counts.
The 12 jurors were asked if they agreed with the verdict as read, and all of them responded, “yes.”
The guilty convictions mean the jury was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the allegations from 2013 were true. Candice Hirsh testified that Darrin held a gun to her head, made a threat on her life — “It will all be over soon”— and a threat on the lives of their children —“I will be taking them too.” She also described being choked and left with bruises.
“Because of the nature of the conviction, I’m revoking the bond,” Svaty said, ordering Hirsh to be placed in custody.
Defense attorney Sal Intagliata asked the judge to reconsider. “Darrin Hirsh is a trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol,” he said. “He is a law enforcement officer with no criminal history.” His attorney said Hirsh would be at risk in the jail because he is an officer. He added that Hirsh had remained free on bond for over a year and a half with virtually no issues.
Although the Kansas sentencing guidelines technically call for time in prison for this type of conviction, Intagliata said, “it is not a forgone conclusion he will do prison time.” He suggested that prior to sentencing, Hirsh could continue to remain free with electronic monitoring and restrictions that include no contact with the victim.
“It is Dec. 22 of 2015,” Intagliata said, noting that three days before Christmas, Hirsh should be able to spend time with his three sons.
Assistant Attorney General Jessica Domme, the lead prosecuting attorney on the case, disagreed. Holding a gun to her head, threatening to kill his wife and children, should not be ignored, she said. “I would ask that the court place him into custody pending sentencing.
“My heart goes out to those three little boys,” she said, but concluded, “He really is going to be a loose cannon at this point, your honor.”
Svaty did not change his decision.
“If the jury makes this conviction, they’re considering him extremely dangerous,” he said. “I would be remiss if anything happened.” He added, “I’m sure the sheriff will find a safe place for him.”
The judge ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and scheduled sentencing for Feb. 26 in a special setting – that is, apart from other cases. Intagliata was granted an extension until Jan. 29 to file a motion for a new trial and a motion for a judgment of acquittal.