– The Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. – A decade-long Vermont legal battle that made a stop at the U.S. Supreme Court came to an end Friday as Michael Brillon pleaded guilty to aggravated domestic assault and being a habitual offender.

Brillon, 48, was sentenced in district court in Bennington to eight to 15 years in prison, said Bennington County State’s Attorney Erica Marthage. Brillon had been scheduled to go to trial a second time next week.

The prosecutor said his guilty plea provided “a certain amount of value to the victim to have him come into court and acknow-ledge his criminal behavior, that he caused her bodily harm.”

Defense lawyer Christopher Montgomery of Rutland did not immediately return a call to his office.

Brillon was arrested in 2001 and charged with felony domestic assault for allegedly hitting his girlfriend in the face. Over the next three years, he went through six public defenders (he fired two, and one withdrew after Brillon threatened his life) before he was convicted in 2004.

Brillon’s attorneys argued the delays violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial, and a Vermont court agreed. The court said it was the state’s responsibility to provide Brillon with a speedy trial and questioned whether the public defender’s office had adequate resources.

In her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Marthage argued the delays were caused by Brillon’s actions.

Forty states and 15 organizations, including county governments, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and a victims rights’ group, filed court papers in support of Marthage. They argued that if the ruling stood, criminal suspects could delay the proceedings against them and win their freedom.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the state court ruling, a new trial had been set for Brillon for Tuesday.