A Butte man who admitted hitting his wife in the head with a pot full of spaghetti pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon Thursday.
In another court hearing Thursday, a man pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault for allegedly punching another man in the head at Spud McGee’s Bar on South Main Street and knocking him unconscious.
In the first case, prosecutors accuse Philip James Matt, 52, of coming into his home on the 600 block of West Park Street drunk in the early morning hours of June 5 and hitting his wife in the head with the pot. Matt admitted to District Court Judge Kurt Krueger on Thursday that it was full of spaghetti.
The wife, while being treated for a head injury at St. James Healthcare after the incident, said Matt first picked up their flat-screen TV and was going to throw it at her but couldn’t. So he used the pot instead.
Following his guilty plea, Krueger set sentencing for Jan. 31. Assault with a weapon in Montana is punishable by up to 20 years in prison but carries no minimum sentence. Matt is free on his own recognizance at least until sentencing.
In the other case, Tucker Lee South, 22, is accused of hitting a man sitting on a bar stool at Spud McGee’s on the night of Dec. 10.
Police were called and found the victim still on the bar stool, breathing but unconscious. When he came to, he told police he had just met South and they had exchanged phone numbers when “out of the blue” South punched him in the head.
A witness confirmed the account and said South had a big ring on his hand that apparently cut the victim.
Following South’s not-guilty plea, Krueger set the next court hearing for Feb. 7. South is free on $5,000 bond but was ordered Thursday to have no contact with the victim or witnesses.