A Troy man charged with assaulting his wife pleaded not guilty in a court appearance in Libby on Oct. 21.
Joshua Peterson is charged with aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly beat his wife, Tracee Peterson, with a baseball bat on Sept. 28.
Tracee has been in a Seattle hospital since the incident and was in a coma for nearly two weeks. According to the family, Tracee has successfully made it through the first of many facial reconstructive surgeries.
According to court documents, police found Tracee on Sept. 28 with her mouth filled with blood and extreme swelling in her nose, cheek and eye areas. Her right ear was severed at the lower lobe. Tracee was taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Joshua later showed police where he had thrown the bat allegedly used to beat Tracee. After finding the bat, police arrested Joshua and brought him to the Lincoln County Detention Center. It was there that he admitted to police that he had assaulted Tracee, according to court records. If convicted, Joshua could face up to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
According to Ed Hanson, Tracee’s father, this was not the first time Joshua had assaulted Tracee, and the couple was in the process of separating. Joshua was reportedly found guilty of misdemeanor partner-family assault in 2003 and sentenced to one year in prison with all but 10 days suspended.
RELATED: Troy Pulls Together For Tracee
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.