A man who will stand trial next month for allegedly killing his daughter in a rollover last year was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday for a separate offense involving domestic violence.
A jury convicted Gasoa “Josh” Balas, 38, of Payson, in September on three counts of domestic violence after he attacked his girlfriend with a pair of scissors in August of 2011.
Balas’ daughter Calandra reportedly witnessed the attack, which stemmed from an argument about how Balas had disciplined Calandra, according to police reports.
A year later, Calandra died when Balas crashed his car while fleeing police.
On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill heard from Balas’ then-girlfriend and Calandra’s grandmother. Time Out shelter employees also attended, said Shawn Fuller, chief deputy county attorney. Cahill sentenced Balas to an aggravated 12-year term.
Next month, Balas will go back to court, this time to face seven felony charges, including second-degree murder, child abuse, aggravated DUI and assaulting an officer. That trial will start at 9 a.m. Dec. 4 in Globe.
In that case, a woman living in a Payson trailer park called police after Balas reportedly assaulted her. When police arrived, they found Balas on the scene. But when they tried to approach him, he sped away, nearly striking an officer, according to police reports.
He fled south on Highway 87 at speeds exceeding 100 miles an hour before going off the highway and rolling. Rescuers found Balas trapped in the crumpled wreck and Calandra’s body off to the side of the roadway. When he realized his 7-year-old daughter had died in the wreck, he reportedly begged police officers to shoot him. Later, he said he didn’t know the girl was in the car.
The woman whose call to police triggered the chase did not press charges.
While Balas has not faced charges for assaulting that woman, a jury found him guilty in September of badly beating his girlfriend.
It was just after 4 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2011, when a neighbor heard Balas’ girlfriend screaming and knocked on the couple’s door. Officers found Balas’ girlfriend bleeding and cut up.
The woman later told police she and Balas, her live-in boyfriend of five months, got into an argument the night before about disciplining Calandra. The argument re-emerged at 3:30 a.m. when Balas grabbed the woman by the hair, pulled her onto the bed and straddled her chest, according to court documents.
“As she was struggling to breathe, Mr. Balas, with a scissors in hand, started cutting her hair,” according to the pre-sentencing report. “Once he cut the front portion of her hair, he pulled (victim’s name omitted) onto the floor to cut off the rest of her hair.
When finished, he stuffed the hair into the woman’s mouth and said, “This is what you get for waking me up at 3 in the morning.”
Officers later found the toilet in the home plugged with hair and scissors hidden in the bathroom.
During an interview, Balas said he cut the woman’s hair after she stabbed him in the hand.
He told a probation officer he was not in the right state of mind when the altercation occurred.
The mental health and family relationship sections of Balas’ pre-sentencing report are confidential and were not released. Balas told probation he had used drugs in the past and six years ago, completed an extensive substance abuse program and taken parenting classes.
Balas has a lengthy criminal history. That record and his crimes against his girlfriend demonstrate “deviant and dangerous patterns of behavior exhibited by a malicious, aggressive individual,” a probation officer wrote in the report.