By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater man, who avoided a jury trial by pleading no contest to trying to kill his girlfriend on Labor Day of 2018, was given a 30-year prison term this week by Associate District Judge Stephen Kistler, who called the crime “reprehensible and inexcusable” at his sentencing hearing and said he needed to be isolated from society and punished, the prosecutor told KUSH.
Robert Dean Chipman, 38, who has been jailed on $200,000 bail since his arrest on the afternoon of the attack, did not have an agreement with the prosecution regarding his sentence for assault and battery with intent to kill, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Debra Vincent said in an email to KUSH, “We are pleased to have finality for this victim who the defendant admitted he meant to kill. He would have been successful but for the actions of his co-worker and employers who called 911 to request a welfare check and the Stillwater Police Department who responded with urgency to the call. It is nothing short of a miracle that she survived this brutal attack and it is appropriate that this defendant receive significant punishment for his actions.”
On his release from prison, Chipman will be on probation for five years with a requirement that he have substance abuse and mental health assessments and follow their recommendations, the prosecutor said. “He will also be subject to the Mary Rippy Violent Offender Registration Act for 10 years upon release,” which cannot occur until he serves at least 85% of the sentence, the prosecutor said.
In the Labor Day attack on the woman, Chipman admitted to Stillwater Police Officers T.J. Low and Ricardo Inciarte that “he had drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana in the past 24 hours,” Stillwater Police Detective John Paul Johnson wrote in an affidavit.
“Chipman admitted to officers that he had assaulted, strangled, and beat (his girlfriend) with a board in an attempt to, and with intent to, kill her,” the affidavit said.
“He told officers that he choked (her) neck hard enough to try and make her head ‘pop off’ and when that did not kill her, he took a nearby board and slammed it into the neck — trying to sever her neck,’ the affidavit said.
When the detective interviewed Chipman the day after his arrest, he said ‘he felt like (his girlfriend) was trying to stop him from starting a movement about ‘peace and love’ and she was always keeping him down, so when (she) threw hot coffee on him, it released seven years’ worth of bottled-up rage.
“He said he launched himself at her and grabbed her by the throat, taking her to the ground. When his attempt to strangle the life out of her did not work, he grabbed the nearby board and slammed it into her neck.
“He said he compared it to trying to ‘cut the head off of the snake.’ He told me that he knew what he was doing was illegal, but felt morally justified, and competent to make the decision that he needed to end her life,” the affidavit said.
Police found Chipman’s girlfriend in a back hallway at his residence where she was covered in blood, with a bloody board nearby, the affidavit said. Chipman was located in Arrington Park near 3rd and Arrington, police said.
When the detective saw Chipman’s girlfriend at the Stillwater Medical Center emergency room, “She was gurgling as she struggled to breathe, even with medical assistance, and bloody fluid had to be suctioned from her lungs periodically. She was unable to speak at that time,” the affidavit said. Chipman’s girlfriend was transferred in critical condition to the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, a Stillwater police news release said.
About 18 months earlier, Chipman had admitted to abusing the same woman and possessing marijuana on March 15, 2017. For those misdemeanors, Chipman had been placed on one year’s probation with an order to be evaluated for domestic and substance abuse, as well as follow any recommendations.