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Woodbury woman sentenced in brick-to-face case

A Woodbury woman accused of smashing a man in the face with a brick-like object was sentenced last month to jail time.

Brenda Dittbenner, 45, was convicted Aug. 26 of third-degree assault - a charge stemming from a March 2010 case when she allegedly confronted and battered her boyfriend.

As part of a plea deal, the felony-level charge was reduced to a gross misdemeanor conviction. Washington County District Court Judge John Hoffman stayed all but 23 days - time Dittbenner had already served - of a one-year jail sentence.

According to a criminal complaint, the assault occurred March 12, 2010, when the victim stopped by Dittbenner's residence - the place he lived until domestic differences drove him out of the house - to retrieve medicine for his son.

The victim, who was accompanied during the stop with a male friend, said Dittbenner found them and "became extremely angry," following them around the house and attempting to provoke the victim.

While the victim was checking on his animals still at Dittbenner's house, he was struck in the face with an object "and immediately saw stars and felt swelling on the face."

Doctors later diagnosed him with damage in and around the eyeball, which included facial fractures.

Police were called to the scene, where the victim's friend reported seeing Dittbenner throw an object at him. Police said the object was a package of tropical soil compressed to the size and weight of a construction block.

In addition to the jail time, Dittbenner was sentenced to two years on probation and was ordered to attending domestic abuse counseling.

According to state criminal records, Dittbenner was convicted in 2010 of disturbing the peace and in 2009 of disorderly conduct.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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