When police responded to a report of a domestic dispute on North Hamilton Street last month, it was the couple’s 4- and 5-year-old children who answered the door.
“My dad is fighting with my mom,” the 4-year-old said.
The children would tell police that their father, Dexter O. Idhen, had kicked in the bathroom door and “smacked” their mom on the back of the head with an object. Their mother told the officers that Idhen — who was barred from the home by multiple court orders — came to help care for the kids while she was sick, but became upset when she later asked him to leave.
Idhen, 31, began knocking items down and throwing things around, “saying ‘the meanest things’ and told her, ‘this is why you get beat,’” Powell Police Sgt. Matt McCaslin wrote of the woman’s account. The April 6 altercation culminated in Idhen hitting the woman, with her running to a neighbor’s home, McCaslin was told.
Idhen fled and, as of Wednesday, he had yet to be located.
In his affidavit, McCaslin indicated that he was familiar with the family; Idhen was already serving probation in four prior cases — for battering the woman, assaulting her and repeatedly violating protection orders she’d obtained. Since September, Idhen had served three months in jail and been ordered to pay more than $3,500 for committing seven misdemeanor offenses related to the domestic disputes.
In connection with April’s altercation, the Park County Attorney’s Office not only charged Idhen with misdemeanor counts of violating a protection order and property destruction, but also a felony count of domestic battery. The crime becomes a felony — punishable by up to 10 years in prison — when it’s a person’s third or subsequent offense within a decade. In this case, it’s alleged to be Idhen’s third offense in just seven months.
Court records indicate the woman obtained a protection order against Idhen in Loveland, Colorado, back in 2017, but the trouble in Powell didn’t start until last fall.
In a Sept. 15 incident, Idhen reportedly punched the woman in the hand and broke her cellphone, documents from that case say. Idhen swore he hadn’t touched the woman, but offered that “he has broken a lot of cellphones because he was angry,” Officer Reece McLain wrote.
Idhen was arrested and released on bail a few days later, with orders to stay away from the woman. However, Idhen reportedly showed up at her home on Oct. 2 and followed her to a bank. A sheriff’s deputy served Idhen with a new protection order that afternoon, reiterating that he needed to stay away from the woman. However, Idhen was soon spotted outside her residence and police found the protection order in her trash can.
After being chased down and re-arrested, “Idhen admitted to tearing up the protection order, going into the [woman’s] residence and throwing it away,” Officer Matt Brilkais wrote in an affidavit.
Idhen wound up serving 30 days in jail for that, eventually pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of violating a protection order.
He completed his sentence at the end of October, but on Dec. 28, the woman contacted police to report that Idhen had come to her home and beaten her.
The woman told police that Idhen — who was homeless at the time — had asked to come in from the cold. The woman let him in, but later asked him to leave, Officer David Ferguson wrote of the woman’s account.
She said Idhen became angry, “put her in a ‘head lock’ and began to punch her face and body,” wrote Ferguson, adding that the woman had marks, scratches, redness and a bruise.
When police responded to her home, Idhen refused to open the door and officers eventually found him hiding in a bedroom closet. He told police that he had only restrained the woman after she became angry, but her injuries “were not consistent with this story,” Ferguson wrote.
The day after his arrest, Idhen reportedly called his girlfriend from jail to ask her to drop the case. That unauthorized contact led to another charge.
Idhen received 60 days in jail and $1,505 in fines and fees for the Dec. 28 altercation.
As Idhen’s sentence neared its end, he asked to receive time served on the last remaining charge — the protection order violation for the phone calls from jail. Idhen told Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters that he planned to resume anger management classes, go back to Maryland and never return to Park County.
“I was doing good by staying away from my family when I got released from here in October of last [year],” Idhen wrote. He didn’t mention the December battering and protection order violations, though he said he couldn’t better himself “if I keep getting thrown in jail.”
“My goal is to never come back to jail no matter where I am living,” Idhen said, adding, “So I guess what I am really asking for is a chance to do right and keep my life going in the right direction.”
A few days later, on Feb. 27, Judge Waters allowed Idhen to go free, suspending another 120 days of jail time and ordered him to pay $605 for violating the protection order.
It was a little more than a month later that police were called to the woman’s home on Hamilton Street, where she reported being assaulted in her bathroom.
Beyond charging Idhen in connection with that altercation, Park County prosecutors are also seeking to revoke his probation on the four prior cases. Judge Waters issued warrants for Idhen’s arrest on April 16.