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Lander man pleads not guilty to aggravated assault

May 2, 2014 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

Brandon Conard was arrested in February after allegedly throwing a paper towel holder at his girlfriend, hitting her.

A Lander man pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault of his pregnant girlfriend, and a trial date has been set for July.

On April 24, Brandon Conard entered his plea in the 9th Judicial District Court in Lander, and his attorney, Terry Martin, asked for a reduced bond, which is currently set at $5,000 cash.

"This was not a violent assault to a pregnant woman," Martin said to the judge.

Arrest

Conard, 28 at the time of the incident, was arrested Feb. 7 after officers received a call of domestic abuse, said Lander Police Department chief Jim Carey. Conard allegedly threw a paper towel holder at his girlfriend, hitting her.

"Injuries were recorded," Carey said in February, noting the woman did not seek treatment.

In an affidavit for the case, it stated the woman was pregnant at the time of the incident.

Bond

Martin argued for his client's bond to be lowered and have Conard pay $1,000 in cash, submit to urine samples three times a week and be on house arrest. Martin said his client had an apartment lined up if he were to be released.

In March, Conard was released on bond and arrested within the week on bond violation.

According to Martin, Conard does "struggles with substance abuse" but has a plan in place to overcome the addiction. Martin said that if Conard were to be released, he would stay away from his "estranged, unique girlfriend."

"He is not a danger to the community," Martin said.

Conard, in court, nodded his head in agreement with his attorney.

"My client has a lot riding on this," Martin said.

Deputy county attorney Tom Majdic disagreed.

"We have heard the same argument made several times," Majdic said, adding Conard is "an untreated addict."

Noting Conard's bond violation, Majdic said he was given the opportunity to come back and redo the urine test, which "tested positive several times."

Judge Norman E. Young decided for a continuance on Conard's bond and decided not to lower it.

Other charges

In February, Carey said additional charges were added to Conard's record, including a weapons offense.

In January, officers were called to Gannett Peak Elementary School after parents saw Conard on school grounds with a firearm in plain view.

"The circumstances are unique," Carey said. "Because of his recent history, the charges were filed."

According to Martin, the gun was in plain view and Conard never left the sidewalk.

"When he was asked to leave, he did and was cited at a later time," Martin said.

Martin also noted a charge for theft of firearms from his girlfriend's property.

Both charges related to firearms are pending at this time.

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