Employees at the Hawthorn Suites hotel near Missoula International Airport were worried about a woman who tried to check in Sunday.

Her head was bleeding. Her eye was swollen. And despite the fact that it was 15 degrees outside, she was shoeless.

So they called police, who in turn arrested Troy Bauernfeind, her husband. He stands accused of aggravated assault, a felony, and a misdemeanor count of partner or family member assault.

The woman told police that Bauernfeind put her in a choke hold in the midst of an argument.

"She said she couldn't breathe and thought she was going to die," according to an affidavit in the case.

The two ended up on the ground, with Bauernfeind punching her repeatedly in the head, the affidavit said.

Bauernfeind told police the woman caused her own injuries by punching herself. He said she had assaulted him when he tried to stop her from driving drunk, according to the affidavit.

On Monday, Missoula County Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech set bail at $15,000 for Bauernfeind.

Aggravated assault carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in Montana State Prison and a $50,000 fine; the misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of between one day and one year in the Missoula County jail and/or a fine of between $100 and $1,000.

Missoulian reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268 or gwen.florio@missoulian.com.



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