Guilty verdict handed down in assault

A Central Point man's history of abusing women could land him in prison for more than two years.

A jury on Wednesday found Brett Wayne Chancler, 45, guilty on felony charges of fourth-degree assault and coercion. In addition, he was found guilty on a harassment charge, which is a misdemeanor, said Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Laura Cromwell.

Chancler was arrested in July after locking his girlfriend in a room and beating her over the course of a weekend.

The victim told a jury Wednesday that Chancler trapped her in a room inside his home on Table Rock Road and refused to let her leave.

"He actually laid down in front of the door to block her way," Cromwell said.

Chancler eventually fell asleep, enabling the woman to call 911. She made the call from behind a pillow because she was afraid Chancler would hear her, Cromwell said.

Jackson County sheriff's deputies traced the cellphone call after the woman hung up, rushed to the house and forced their way inside. They arrested Chancler on a warrant for another crime.

The woman told deputies she had been trapped in the room for two days and assaulted by Chancler.

Chancler denied anything had occurred at the home. Cromwell said his story did not hold up.

"There were overturned tables and broken glass in the home," Cromwell said. "He tried to say there wasn't a struggle inside the home, which wasn't true."

The victim had recently ended a violent relationship with another man before Chancler took her in. She was homeless at the time and needed a place to stay.

"She was a very vulnerable victim," Cromwell said.

Cromwell praised the woman for seeing the case through to the end. She noted that domestic violence cases can be difficult to prosecute because victims sometimes decline to testify against their attackers.

Cromwell looked into Chancler's past and found that he has a history of abusing women.

He has three previous domestic violence convictions involving different women, which allowed prosecutors to charge him with felony assault in the current case.

He has a past conviction for resisting arrest and has had numerous restraining orders placed against him by various women, according to court records.

Chancler's sentencing hearing is scheduled for early next week.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.


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