KALISPELL – Two men have pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault charges in connection with a Flathead County beating that prosecutors say left a man with multiple injuries.
Andrew Nelson and Ryan Horn appeared before District Judge Heidi Ulbricht on Aug. 1. A third man charged in connection with the beating, Gaige Mower, is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 8.
According to court records and the statement the alleged victim, Antonio Valencia, made to police, Valencia said the three men were tailgating his vehicle on the Fourth of July near Bigfork so he pulled into a parking lot. Valencia told investigators he thought there would be enough people in the parking lot of the Ferndale Market to dissuade any confrontation. But prosecutors say three men began beating Valencia, and that Nelson struck him with a golf club until the club broke.
All four of the men left the scene and a witness called 9-1-1 to report the fight. Police officers found Valencia at his home, and he was taken by ambulance to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for treatment. Doctors determined he had multiple injuries, including a fractured vertebrae.
The three men are scheduled to stand trial in January 2014. Felony aggravated assault cares a potential 20-year prison term.