Channing man acquitted of felony assault

DANIEL NIGGELING

IRON MOUNTAIN — A Channing man on trial for reportedly assaulting and choking a woman was convicted Wednesday of misdemeanor domestic violence and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license, but acquitted of a felony assault charge that could have sent him to prison for any term of years up to life.

Since 42-year-old Daniel Cingano Niggeling already has served about eight months in the Dickinson County Jail — a term that exceeds the misdemeanors’ maximum penalties of 93 days — Dickinson County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Ninomiya agreed to release him pending his official sentencing date Oct. 15. At that time, he likely will be sentenced to time already served.

However, Niggeling is wanted in Grant County in Wisconsin for another matter and may be required to report there, Dickinson County Assistant Prosecutor Alex Sieminski told the court.

Niggeling can appear via videoconferencing for his sentencing if he is incarcerated at that time in Wisconsin, Ninomiya said.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about 3.5 hours Wednesday afternoon before returning verdicts of not guilty to felony assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder or by strangulation, and guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and misdemeanor driving while license suspended.

If Niggeling had been convicted on the felony, he would have been subject to a habitual offender-fourth notice, which would have increased the maximum penalty from 10 years to life.

Niggeling represented himself in the three-day trial and claimed self-defense.

The woman testified she and Niggeling had been consuming alcohol and marijuana Jan. 9 when he became angry. She said she tried to get away from the ensuing argument by going to bed.

But Niggeling grabbed her in a choke hold from behind, she testified, and they fell onto the bed. She said she tried to hit him and was able to get out from under him, but he grabbed her throat and pushed her down on the bed and hit her repeatedly.

Niggeling then threatened her family as he left the residence, she testified.

The woman said she later sought medical treatment for her injuries.

Niggeling took the woman’s vehicle — even though his driver license is suspended — and drove to a nearby cemetery in Channing, where police arrested him.

But Niggeling said during his police interview the woman initiated the physical altercation Jan. 9 by punching him in the eye. He grabbed her arm to restrain her and spun her around, causing the two to fall onto the bed, he said.

The woman kept trying to hit him, so he put his arm on her neck but immediately let go when she said she couldn’t breathe, he said. He said he got up and she chased him out of the residence, prompting him to take her vehicle to the cemetery.

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