After reviewing at least 38 letters praising the better qualities of a Sundance man convicted of beating children and attacking his pregnant wife in 2022, a Crook County judge sentenced him to between eight and 10 years in prison.
District Court Judge James Michael Causey also reviewed case evidence and victim impact statements for 36-year-old Joshua Idler’s Jan. 18 sentencing hearing.
Causey sentenced Idler to between eight and 10 years in prison, and ordered him to pay $9,000 in fines, $2,842 in victim restitution, and other court costs and fees.
Idler’s plea agreement could have allowed a maximum of 16 years in prison.
Idler pleaded guilty in November to two counts of felony child abuse for beating two of his own children, and one count of aggravated assault for attacking his pregnant wife and trying to push her out of a moving van in November 2022.
Many of the 38 letters in support of Idler, filed by his attorney, were by Crook County locals who touted instances where Idler behaved with care and devotion toward his kids while out in the community.
“I have witnessed him interacting with his children by fishing with them when he picked them up after camp,” wrote one local. “In my opinion, Mr. Idler is a man who loves his children although as he admits, he is guilty of some mistakes.”
According to the original affidavit in the case, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office responded Dec. 8, 2022, to a report that Idler was abusing at least one of his six children.
One of Idler's daughters told investigators that her father's abuse was the worst when the girl would say the wrong things, according to the affidavit. And when her father punched, smacked or threw her, she sometimes felt like she was going to throw up or couldn't breathe, said the document. It alleged that Idler would sometimes choke the girl by holding her up by her neck; other times hed choke her without holding her up and would cut off her breathing.
She and her sisters would scramble for lies to tell their friends to explain their bruises, said the girl, but it was easier for their brothers to make up such lies because people believed them more when the boys said they'd been rough housing, the affidavit said.
In the affidavit's account, the girl told her interviewer that she wouldn't remember everything because she and her mother had theorized that she'd been thrown into the wall too much.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.