Joshua E. Howell, 37, was charged with five felonies Tuesday related to an alleged domestic violence incident Jan. 1 involving alleged attempted strangulation, kidnapping and domestic battery of a pregnant woman.
Howell, no address given, was charged with second-degree kidnapping, domestic battery, first-degree stalking and two counts of attempted strangulation Tuesday.
“You are an absolute risk to this victim,” Nez Perce County Magistrate Judge Michelle Evans said as she kept a $250,000 bond in place but also ensured Howell would remain behind bars for at least the next three weeks because of new charges of violating a no-contact order and violating a probation Evans sentenced Howell to in October.
No bond was allowed on the alleged probation violation and violation of the no-contact order related to a misdemeanor battery sentencing in October, when Howell was sentenced to 180 days in jail with credit for 38 days served and 142 of those days suspended and placed on two years’ probation.
The kidnapping charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Attempted strangulation carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Domestic battery carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. First-degree stalking carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
When Evans ordered a new no-contact order Tuesday during Howell’s video arraignment, Howell responded, “I got no issue with it,” then he laughed.
Howell was released from Nez Perce County Jail on Dec. 23, court documents said.
Howell came uninvited to the residence of the alleged victim on Jan. 1, using a key he had previously when he lived there before a no-contact order was put in place for a previous misdemeanor domestic battery, court documents said.
Howell became angry after being at the residence for about six hours and allegedly hit the woman, who is 25 weeks pregnant with his child, in the face numerous times, court documents said. The woman screamed and Howell allegedly placed his hand over her mouth until she could not breathe, court documents said.
Howell then took her into the bedroom where he allegedly sat on her on the floor and forced her to calm down before letting her up, court documents said.
The woman asked to go to the kitchen for a popsicle, but Howell allegedly would not let her walk by herself. While in the kitchen, the woman retrieved a stun gun her parents bought her for protection, but she was unable to use it and Howell took it from her, court documents said.
The woman attempted to leave the residence but Howell allegedly grabbed her around the shoulders and pulled her down to the kitchen floor, where Howell allegedly “got on top of her stomach.” The woman screamed for help and Howell allegedly placed his hand over her mouth for 30 seconds, during which she couldn’t breathe, court documents said. Howell allegedly used the palm of his hand to push the woman’s face against the floor, causing a bruise on her jaw line, court documents said.
Howell allegedly put his fingers in the woman’s mouth in an attempt to choke her, court documents said. He also allegedly took her phone away, court documents said.
The next morning, the woman told Howell her parents were coming over and he needed to leave and that she could no longer feel the baby kicking, court documents said. The woman drove Howell to his sister’s house in Clarkston and sought medical care to check on the baby’s health, which was determined to be healthy, court documents said.
The Nez Perce County Prosecutor’s Office noted Howell has an extensive criminal history, including multiple domestic violence offenses in several jurisdictions. Howell was previously convicted of felony intimidation-stalking and burglary, court documents said. He has a 2005 arrest for attempted strangulation, stalking and kidnapping in Oregon. Howell has violated no-contact orders with this alleged victim in his current charges, court documents said.
“The nature of these offenses demonstrate escalating violence (Howell) perpetrates against this victim and he poses an extremely high risk to her safety, especially considering her current pregnancy,” court documents said.
A preliminary hearing was set on the felony charges for Jan. 15.
Wells may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 848-2275.