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Man uses vehicle as weapon against girlfriend

by Jeff Smith/For the Leader
| December 7, 2023 12:00 AM

Judge Molly Owen set a sentencing date of Jan. 17 for John William Cox, 21 of Ronan, who entered a plea of “no contest” Nov. 29 in Polson District Court to felony assault with a weapon.

 A “no contest” is not an admission of guilt, but still results in a conviction. The plea was entered as part of a plea agreement to which the judge is not bound.

According to court records, on Aug. 6 a deputy with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a possible domestic disturbance near the Salish Kootenai College campus in Pablo. The victim of the alleged incident had already been transported to an area hospital when the deputy arrived.

The deputy went to the hospital and took a statement from the alleged victim. The deputy observed scraping on the woman’s toes, her face was bleeding, her lips were swollen, and she had a large bruise under her right arm.

She indicated that she and Cox had gone to the Pioneer Days celebration in Ronan, which coincided with her birthday, consumed alcohol, then began to argue before Cox allegedly hit her in the face.

She said they then drove to her residence in the Pablo area, she grabbed her keys, exited the vehicle and began to walk away. She stated that Cox then began to back his vehicle up, then put the vehicle in forward gear, accelerated, and hit her in the back causing her to fall face first to the ground. She also indicated that she and Cox had been dating for about a year when the incident occurred.

Cox remains at liberty until the sentencing hearing.