The 27-year-old Missoula man charged with hitting Missoula Special Olympics athlete Gary Fuller in the head with a baseball bat in an allegedly unprovoked attack pleaded not guilty Thursday to his felony charge.
Paul Ekstedt and Fuller were heading to dinner in mid-June when Ekstedt hit Fuller in the head with a baseball bat, according to court records. Witnesses told investigators there had been no argument between the pair before the incident, filings said.
Ekstedt was charged with assault with a weapon, and pleaded not guilty Thursday in Missoula County District Court, according to prosecutor Brittany Williams.
Fuller — a well-known local Special Olympics athlete who serves on the state board of directors for the games — was hospitalized with serious injuries and underwent emergency surgery after the assault, but has since been released.
Ekstedt’s next court appearance, an omnibus hearing, was set for Aug 23. He remains in jail on a $100,000 bail.