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Bad behavior adds 20 years to man's sentence.

Byline: Karen McCowan The Register-Guard

A 51-year-old Eugene man was sentenced Friday to more than 25 years in prison - most of that time for his combative conduct in the Lane County Jail after he had been arrested.

Police arrested Kirk Michael Bauer in January following a hit-and-run incident in the parking lot of Phil's Nightclub on Main Street in Springfield.

A Lane County jury convicted him Wednesday of first-degree assault, hit-and-run with injury, drunken driving, menacing and multiple counts of reckless endangering for that incident.

Bauer reportedly became angry when a club manager asked him to leave because of unacceptable behavior. He then went out into the parking lot and backed his vehicle into a group of pedestrians, running over a woman. She suffered a back injury that requires continuing treatment, including surgery.

Lane County Circuit Judge Debra Vogt imposed the mandatory minimum 70-month prison sentence for that assault, as well as several shorter Lane County Jail sentences for the other convictions.

But she imposed the bulk of his sentence - 20 years - for three incidents in which Bauer spit on Lane County Jail deputies and a fourth incident in which he assaulted a deputy and dislocated his arm.

A second Lane County jury impaneled Thursday to hear those cases got a first-hand look at Bauer's combative behavior.

Bauer, who insisted on representing himself in court, first threatened defense attorney Brad Cascagnette, appointed by Vogt to be available to advise the volatile defendant. Before jury selection, but with prospective jurors in the courtroom, Bauer could be heard telling Cascagnette that he would have him disbarred and thrown in prison.

"You'll need to be in protective custody, because I know some people in the joint," Bauer warned. "You know what I'm saying?"

Then, immediately after the jury was sworn in, Bauer stood up and screamed that he wanted to plead innocent, then called Vogt an obscene name as she tried to restore order. The judge ordered Bauer taken back to the jail. She refused to grant a mistrial, saying she had warned Bauer that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that "stubborn and rude and obstinate defendants cannot be allowed to just take over our system and cause the wheels to fall off."

She also said Oregon State Hospital staff had examined Bauer and found no evidence that he was mentally ill.

After a lunch recess, she visited Bauer in a high-security area of the jail. She gave him the option of returning to the courtroom in full restraints to continue his trial. Instead, he pleaded guilty to all the charges.

Bauer's five-year sentences for each incident of spitting on deputies as they tried to serve him food reflected new state law making such behavior a felony, prosecutor JoAnn Miller said.

"The idea being that there needs to be a higher standard of conduct with a jail, where deputies who are unarmed and outnumbered are charged with maintaining order," she explained.

He received the same five-year sentence for a May incident in which he grabbed the arm of an officer who was uncuffing him in his cell. Miller said he pulled the deputy's arm through an opening in a metal door, dislocating it. The deputy, Patrick Jennings, appeared in court Friday with his arm still in a sling.

In sentencing Bauer, Vogt called him "an extreme danger to the public at large and even a danger to those who have to deal with you in an institution."
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Title Annotation:Courts; Most of the time a Eugene man spends behind bars will be for things he did after his arrest
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 3, 2010
Words:576
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