Brent Pongyan


An Idaho Falls man was sentenced Wednesday for felony battery.

Brent Pongyan, 25, told the court he attacked the victim unprovoked and wanted to take responsibility for his actions.

“I’m fully guilty of this crime,” Pongyan said. “My actions were not justified at all. She didn’t do anything towards me.”

Pongyan told police when he was arrested that he hadn’t hurt the victim, and accused her of punching him. Police were skeptical of his accusation because the scar he showed them was visible in an older photograph.

Defense Attorney Rocky Wixom began his argument by citing Pongyan’s accusation, but his client stopped him and said it wasn’t true.

The victim told police she was trying to make dinner after the two had an argument when Pongyan began grabbing utensils and throwing them. He was angry and punched a wall, causing his hand to bleed. The victim told police Pongyan then put his arm around her neck, choking her from behind.

The report states the victim had red marks and bruises on her neck. She told police there was blood on a white shirt from when he grabbed her. She said Pongyan made her take it off before police arrived.

Bonneville County Deputy Prosecutor Tanner Crowther read an impact statement submitted by the victim.

“I’ve struggled with many emotions in the months that have passed his arrest, along with depression and PTSD,” Crowther read from her statement.

The victim said small noises at home can create fear, and that she had felt isolated. Hugs with friends now made her uncomfortable.

The attorneys jointly recommended a four-year fixed sentence, to be served concurrently with another sentence.

Pickett ordered a sentence of one year fixed, four indeterminate, with credit for the six months Pongyan had already served, Pickett said he thought Pongyan needed to be supervised on parole to help him readjust after he is released.

“You appear articulate, intelligent and able to be successful on the outside,” Pickett said. “The fact of the matter is you haven’t been.”

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.

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