A 43-year-old Somers man appeared in Flathead County District Court on Tuesday morning to face three felony charges stemming from a pair of incidents in which he allegedly broke into a woman’s room and attacked her.
Paul Everett Rowley pleaded not guilty to strangulation of a partner or family member, felony theft and aggravated burglary in front of Judge Amy Eddy. He has been in custody on $70,000 bail since his arrest on Dec. 21.
One day earlier, on Dec. 20, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office was called to a woman’s home in Bigfork where she reported that Rowley had arrived unannounced and threatened to break in, according to court documents. Rowley left before law enforcement arrived but returned a little more than an hour later, at 8:44 p.m., and successfully broke into the home through a sliding glass door. The woman’s child called 911 and reported Rowley was attacking their mother, putting his hands around her neck and pushing her against a wall. Deputies reported the victim was found with injuries to her neck and a black eye. Rowley again left before law enforcement arrived but was later arrested at his home.
That incident resulted in the aggravated burglary charge, the most serious of the three felonies Rowley is facing. It is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.
Just three days before the December attack, Rowley was initially charged for an incident that occurred on July 17. In that encounter, Rowley allegedly broke into a bedroom where the same victim was asleep and threw cigarette ashes and lit cigarette butts at her, sometime around 3:30 a.m. Court documents indicate Rowley then put his forearm against the victim’s throat “so she could not breathe” and stole $3,850 from the woman’s closet. It is unclear whether or not Rowley was arrested immediately after that incident.
No date has been set for Rowley’s next court appearance.
If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, the Abbie Shelter operates a 24-hour crisis helpline at (406) 752-7273. Additional information can be found at www.abbieshelter.org.
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