Nevis man in court for allegedly assaulting woman again
A Nevis man who held a SWAT team at bay in February during a domestic dispute has been arrested again for allegedly assaulting the same woman after she withdrew the protection order against him.
Joseph Chester Stish, 43, appeared in Hubbard County District Court Monday on a charge of Domestic Assault, one month after pleading guilty to a similar charge. Later Monday he was sentenced on the first charge, receiving 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
The incident has resulted in a change of policy for the Hubbard County Attorney's office. The victim had requested a district judge lift the February protection order from Stish, who then moved back into the home where the second assault occurred.
Although the "no contact" order was lifted, Stish was not supposed to be staying in the residence overnight. Neighbors said he nevertheless moved in, spending nights and days at the home.
"From now on, we'll be consistently opposing any lifting of no contact orders," said Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne.
The latest criminal complaint indicates a Hubbard County deputy responded to the rural home April 29 to find the woman bleeding from her lip, with scratch marks on her arm and bruises on her ribs and neck.
She told the deputy she had informed Stish she was trying to end the relationship when he allegedly hit her over the head with a mirror and kicked her.
He fled the scene and was arrested over the weekend.
Stish has previously been convicted of Fifth Degree Assault in 2002.
In the February incident, Hubbard County called in the Emergency Response Unit, a joint effort with Wadena County, when Stish refused to surrender and was armed and intoxicated, authorities said at the time. A trained hostage negotiator eventually talked him into surrendering after a lengthy standoff.
The current Domestic Assault charge carries a maximum punishment of one year and/or a $3,000 fine upon conviction.