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Man sentenced for beating girlfriend with cane

A Medford man who told police he beat his girlfriend with a cane because she didn't bring In-N-Out burgers home for dinner was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Christian Matthew Berry, 21, of the 900 block of Royal Court was also sentenced to five years probation Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court. If he violates his probation, he faces a three-year prison sentence.

Berry pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, coercion and fourth-degree assault. Under the terms of the plea agreement, he was not sentenced to the five years and 10 months minimum sentence called for under Oregon's tough-on-crime Measure 11.

The popular In-N-Out Burgers chain opened a Medford restaurant Sept. 9.

Police were called to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in the early-morning hours of Sept. 10, where they found a 20-year-old woman with extensive bruising and scratches on her body and a lump on her face. She said her boyfriend of four years had punched and kicked her and struck her with a cane, an affidavit said.

In a tape-recorded confession to police, Berry — who stands 6-feet-2 and weighs 300 pounds — said he had beaten her because she didn't bring home In-N-Out burgers for dinner. He also admitted to assaulting her about 13 times in the last year, the affidavit said.

In court Monday, Berry said he would like to get treatment for his issues.

Defense attorney Andrew Vandergaw said Berry recognizes he has anger issues.

The terms of Berry's probation include anger management classes, obeying all laws, no weapons, no intoxicants and no contact with the victim.

The victim asked Jackson County Circuit Judge Timothy Barnack to lift the no-contact order.

"I do miss him," she said, adding that they want to get married.

Barnack told her he would not lift the no-contact order, but would instead let a probation officer decide whether to lift the order after Berry had attended anger management classes.

"I don't want this to happen again," Barnack said of the assault. "This seems pretty serious. He's hitting you with a cane."

He cautioned her that Berry's actions are putting her life in danger.

Outside the courtroom, the victim said she believes Berry will be a different person after he takes anger management classes.

"He's the best person I ever met in my life," she said.

Although Berry told police he beat her for not bringing home In-N-Out burgers, the victim said she thought he beat her because she woke him up while he was trying to sleep.

According to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office, Berry beat her, then ordered her to sleep on the floor. She fled to the hospital after he fell back asleep.

Rogue Valley victims of domestic violence can call the Community Works victim services help line 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 541-779-4357, or visit the office at 201 W. Main St., 2B, in Medford between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.