Hillsboro man sentenced for pushing girlfriend off balcony
A Hillsboro man will spend more than a decade in prison after he pushed his girlfriend off a third-story balcony last fall.
Jordan Adam Sutherland, 27, was convicted Friday, Feb. 16 of first- and second-degree assault in Washington County Circuit Court, after prosecutors say he pushed the woman off the ledge during an argument. He was sentenced Feb. 27 to 11 years and eight months in prison, according to court records.
During his trial, witnesses said they heard Sutherland arguing with his girlfriend in their Hillsboro apartment on the evening of Sept. 11, 2017. Minutes later, they saw him shove the woman off their balcony onto the concrete below.
According to Washington County District Attorney's Office spokesman Andrew Freeman, witnesses first thought the woman was dead as she lay on the ground. They described a pool of blood forming around the woman's head as they called for an ambulance First responders discovered the woman alive and transported her to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland for treatment. According to Freeman, the woman's s spine was fractured and her head had been cut open in the fall. The cut required 14 staples to close.
This wasn't the first time Sutherland had attacked the woman, Freeman said. During the police investigation, officers learned Sutherland had allegedly punched the woman a month earlier, breaking her jaw.
Sutherland was arrested and lodged in the Washington County Jail. According to prosecutors, Sutherland continued to have contact with the woman before and after his trial, which he was barred from doing. He was charged with 12 counts of contempt.
During his weeklong trial, Sutherland's attorneys argued Sutherland had tried to save the woman as she fell from the balcony in a misguided suicide attempt.
Sutherland testified in court that he held onto the victim as long as possible as she hung from the ledge.
Sutherland's girlfriend did not cooperate with prosecutors during the trial. She testified during the trial that he had not pushed her. That account was disputed by eye witnesses, who testified that Sutherland had shoved the woman with both hands during an argument.
Sutherland's mother was ordered out of the courtroom twice during the trial by Judge Andrew Erwin due to poor behavior, Freeman said. Sutherland and his girlfriend have one child together. The baby was not in the home at the time of the incident, according to prosecutors.
As part of his sentence, Sutherland is not allowed to contact the victim or her family and must take domestic violence treatment classes.