Deal proposed in battery case

SANDPOINT — A plea agreement is pending in a Sagle man’s felony battery case, 1st District Court records indicate.

James Edward Johnson is scheduled to enter a plea on Monday. He is charged with aggravated battery for allegedly entering another man’s home and pummeling him in July.

Johnson, 47, attacked the man because he argued with Johnson’s girlfriend about drug use and nonpayment of rent, a probable cause affidavit alleges. Johnson is further accused of threatening to kill the alleged victim if he reported the attack to authorities.

The alleged victim in the case sustained non-displaced fractures on both sides of his jaw, according to court documents.

Johnson was charged with aggravated battery, a felony, and misdemeanor unlawful entry. He is also charged with being a persistent violator due to previous convictions for burglary and felony drug possession.

The persistent violator enhancement carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.

Bonner County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Shane Greenbank and Johnson’s defense counsel, Serra Woods, are seeking a plea agreement that would be binding upon the court.

In exchange for a plea to a reduced charge of aggravated assault, the unlawful entry and persistent violator enhancement would be dropped, the agreement states.

Judge Steve Verby declined to bind himself to the terms of the agreement without seeing a pre-sentence investigation, which examines a defendant’s background. If Verby ultimately declines to adopt the terms of the agreement, Johnson could proceed to trial on the original charges.

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