Merrill man accused of ‘water boarding’, battering victim sentenced to 7 years probation
Friday morning, a Lincoln County Judge agreed to a recommended sentencing and plea arrangement for 23-year old Dylan VanCamp; of 7 years probation but ordered an additional 180 days of jail time as a condition of probation.
Van Camp was officially charged last February with 2 counts of Felony-Battery, 2 counts of Felony-Strangulation and Suffocation (with a Previous Conviction), 2 counts of Felony-Bail Jumping and a felony charge of Stalking-Resulting in Bodily Harm.
According to court records, over the course of several months beginning in June of 2015, VanCamp repeatedly battered and choked the victim in the case. During one of the incidents, VanCamp allegedly employed a form of torture known as “water boarding” by covering the victim’s mouth with a wash cloth and dumping 3 cups of water over the victim’s face. On a separate occasion, VanCamp reportedly threw a fork at the same victim causing the fork to lodge in the victim’s leg.
During arguments Friday morning, Lincoln County District Attorney Galen Bayne-Allison listed VanCamp’s rather short but significant criminal history dating back to 2013 when he was 19 year of age; consisting of Methamphetamine and domestic violence related charges. Bayne-Allison stated probation was a more viable option for VanCamp as a means of a final effort to rehabilitate Van Camp. He referred to VanCamp’s history of immaturity, drug use, mental health issues and domestic violence as a “very dangerous cocktail.” Although he acknowledged Van Camp has had his probation revoked before, he stated VanCamp is now at a ‘cross roads’.
The plea agreement negotiated between Bayne-Allison and VanCamp’s attorney Peter Presinsky, called for VanCamp to plead guilty to a Felony-Suffocation and Strangulation charge and No-Contest to the Felony-Bail Jumping charges, in exchange for the other charges being dismissed. The 7-year probation sentence was accompanied by a total of 10 years in prison and 6 years extended supervision, however the prison sentences were stayed in lieu of probation.
“Either Mr. Van Camp can be rehabilitated and he can succeed on supervision, or he will face serious sanctions by the Wisconsin prison system,” Bayne Allison said.
“If we were to send him to prison today, he will get out one day and eventually return to the community.”
Van Camp’s attorney agreed with Bayne-Allison.
“Mr. Van Camp realizes he’s at the end of the road here. He will be on a short leash, with a very large hammer hanging over his head.”
Both attorneys and Lincoln County Circuit Judge the Honorable Robert Russell agreed, if at any point Van Camp were to violate any condition of his probation; which also includes AODA treatment and having a 500-foot protection order from contact with the victim, his probation would immediately be revoked and he would be sent to prison.
“If there is any slip-up while on probation, you will not come back to this court room,” Russell sternly stated when addressing Van Camp, while rendering his sentencing decision.
“You will be revoked and you will be on your way to Dodge, (Dodge Maximum Security Correctional Institution) with no questions asked. I hope you understand that.”
Russell’s order of an additional 180-days jail time will commence upon Van Camp fulfilling a current jail sentence from Marathon County, related to a Domestic Violence case last February involving strangulation and suffocation. VanCamp will be released from incarceration in August of 2018, upon serving a total of 2 1/2 years behind bars. His probation will commence immediately.