Pair appear on battery charges

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SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint attorney and his son made initial court appearances Friday on felony battery charges.

Rex Adam Moyle Finney and his son, Oliver, were advised of the charges against them and the penalties if convicted during a brief hearing before Judge Barry E. Watson, according to Bonner County Magistrate Court records.

The Finneys’ court appearances set the stage for Nov. 15 preliminary hearings. Both are free on $5,000 bond each.

Rex Finney, 43, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery, while Oliver Finney, 21, is charged with one count of aggravated battery.

The charges stem from an alleged attack outside the Cabinet Mountain Bar & Grill in Clark Fork on April 22.

The Finneys are accused of breaking a Clark Fork man’s collarbone during the fracas or aiding and abetting the crime. The elder Finney faces an additional aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge for allegedly kicking a Heron, Mont., man in the face.

Rex Finney, who was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 2001 and comes from a family with prominent standing in Bonner County’s legal community, has declined to comment on the case.

The alleged victims and witnesses told sheriff’s investigators that the attack appeared to result from a verbal altercation earlier in the evening. The Finneys left the bar, but returned an hour later with others, which set off a brief sequence of physical violence outside the bar.

Witnesses said the incident lacked the hallmarks of a spontaneous bar brawl and instead resembled a revenge attack, court records show.

Rex Finney is accused of orchestrating some of the violence by encouraging his son to fight and directing him to kick one of the men in the head.

The Finneys allegedly fled the scene, but were subsequently identified via witness statements, photo lineups and video surveillance footage from the bar, according to court documents. There is no record of either Finney making statements to law enforcement during its investigation, court records indicate.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall moved to have the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office handle the matter in the interest of judicial economy and to avoid the appearance of impropriety or misuse of discretion, court documents said.

Aggravated battery is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to Idaho Code.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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