29 year-old Ethan Ovitt is in the Missoula County Jail on $40,000 bond after being charged with felony assault, aggravated assault and strangulation for allegedly beating and strangling his girlfriend and then beating the girl’s father as well.

The state is alleging the defendant strangled his girlfriend to the point of unconsciousness while telling her he was going to kill her. She actually believed that she was going to die and she informed law enforcement officers of this and she then called her dad. When he arrived, the defendant punched, kicked and stomped on her dad until he was knocked unconscious. The dad also advised that he thought she was going to die during the assault.

At Ovitt’s Justice Court appearance on Friday, Deputy County Attorney Megan Hansen outlined what happened before substitute Justice of the Peace Thorin Geist.

“This is a particularly violent matter Your Honor,” said Hansen. “The state is alleging the defendant strangled his girlfriend to the point of unconsciousness while telling her he was going to kill her. She actually believed that she was going to die and she informed law enforcement officers of this and she then called her dad. When he arrived, the defendant punched, kicked and stomped on her dad until he was knocked unconscious. The dad also advised that he thought she was going to die during the assault.”

Hansen said due to the brutal nature of the assaults, she was asking for a high bail for the protection of the victims.

“You're honor, because of these violent acts, the state is going to recommend that bond be set at $50,000 as he is obviously a significant risk to the community and in particular his girlfriend and her family. He also has the prior felony convictions for which he is on felony probation.”

Judge Geist set bond for this offense at $40,000, which will be consecutive with the bond already set in a prior case.

Ovitt was returned to the Missoula County Jail, where his next court appearance was set for later in September.

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