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Prosecutors amend charge against Kalispell man to aggravated assault

Daily Inter Lake | November 3, 2022 12:00 AM

A Kalispell man accused of beating his girlfriend pleaded not guilty to a felony aggravated assault charge in Flathead County District Court last week.

Prosecutors initially charged Eugene Vernon Clark, 41, with partner or family member assault following the alleged Aug. 22 incident on Crest Court. They amended the charge to aggravated assault on Oct. 4, precipitating an Oct. 27 arraignment. Clark pleaded not guilty to the previous charge in early September.

Clark’s arrest came after deputies with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call for a report of a disturbance. Throughout, dispatchers could hear a woman crying and a man yelling, court documents said.

When deputies arrived, Clark opened the door and allegedly greeted them by saying that the woman was OK. He was detained while deputies interviewed the victim, who sported bloody scrapes on her knees and elbows, court documents said.

The woman told investigators that the pair had gone out to dinner in Whitefish and got into an argument on their way home. Clark allegedly shoved her out of the moving vehicle during the disagreement, court documents said.

The violence continued when the pair arrived home, she said, accusing him of shoving her onto the deck. When she tried to call 911, he allegedly smashed her phone. She told deputies that she eventually reached emergency responders using his phone while hiding in the closet, according to court documents.

Along with the bloody scrapes, the victim reported suffering from pain in her left shoulder and in her ribs. According to court documents, the alleged attack left her with a concussion, laceration to her spleen and a scapula or shoulder blade fracture.

As Clark had previously been arraigned, Judge Dan Wilson kept to the existing schedule, meaning Clark’s omnibus hearing will occur Nov. 16 with a pretrial conference to follow on Jan. 4.

If convicted, Clark faces up to 20 years in Montana State Prison and a fine of $50,000.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.

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