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Corrections officer sent to prison for strangling girlfriend

A 48-year-old former corrections officer was sentenced today to two years in state prison for beating his girlfriend in his Deerfield Avenue home in October 2011.

Namon Kitchen wrapped a pillowcase around the woman’s mouth to muffle her screams during the attack, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Haendiges called Kitchen’s crimes “absolutely heinous.”

“I am extremely concerned about the safety of this victim,” Haendiges said.

Kitchen, who pleaded guilty to second-degree strangulation and third-degree assault, had faced seven years in prison. The judge had said at the time of Kitchen’s plea in September that she would consider a two-year sentencing cap.

Prosecutor Rachel L. Newton, chief of the Domestic Violence Bureau, asked the judge to sentence Kitchen to the maximum prison term.

Kitchen received two years for the strangulation count and one year for the assault conviction. The terms will be served concurrently.

He pleaded guilty as charged to the indictment, the most he could have been convicted of had he gone to trial, District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said.

The victim lost consciousness at one point during the beating but was eventually able to escape from Kitchen’s home, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The attack left her with a severely swollen eye and loose teeth, the victim said in court today, where she made a victim impact statement.

“It took weeks for the swelling to go down,” the victim said, noting she lost two months of pay because she could not work.

She was prescribed medication for panic attacks, she said.

“I still fear him and what he might do to me when released,” she said.

Referring to the two-year cap the judge had mentioned in September, the victim told the court that she felt the criminal justice system “has failed me” because of what she considers a short prison sentence.

Kitchen apologized for “my uncharacteristic lack of self-control” and asked the judge to show mercy when sentencing him.

Kitchen has spent the past eight months in jail.