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William J. "Dub" Lawrence, the former Davis County sheriff and county commissioner who was jailed a week ago after hitting his wife during an argument, was given a suspended jail sentence Monday and ordered to undergo counseling.

Lawrence was given a 180-day suspended jail sentence by Centerville Justice Jerald Jensen on the Class B misdemeanor. Jensen put Lawrence on probation for 12 months and levied a $250 fine, which he suspended.Jensen released Lawrence from jail and ordered him to report to a state-funded domestic violence counseling program for evaluation and therapy within 24 hours.

Lawrence pleaded no contest the the assault charge, filed April 4 by Centerville police after they responded to an early morning domestic-abuse call at Lawrence's home.

Lawrence told the judge his week in jail has been hard, noting it was self-imposed because he made no attempt to post the $500 bail to get out. And, he agreed, he needs counseling.

"I need help. I have been the problem," Lawrence said, adding that his wife, Nancy, and family had been trying to get him counseling for years, but he resisted.

Referring to the incident, Lawrence told the judge that "she told me if I slapped her she would put me in jail. I did; she did."

Jensen told Lawrence his probation hinges on two factors: following the dictates of the counseling program and obeying the 2nd District Court-ordered no-contact order requested by his wife.

"I was prepared for a lot worse," Lawrence said.

Lawrence was elected sheriff of Davis County in 1974 as a Democrat after working as a patrolman with Bountiful police for two years. He served one four-year term as sheriff.

In 1988, he won a two-year term on the county commission as a Republican.