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Man gets nearly 10 years for assaults, burglary

POLSON – A man who was convictedof his fourth partner family member assault was sentenced to nine years and 11 months in the Montana State Prison last week.

Judge James A. Manley sentenced Joshuah David Gowen, 38, of St. Ignatius after he pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement.

Gowen got four years for the PFMA, three years for aggravated burglary and two years and 11 months when a sentence for his third PFMA was revoked. The sentences will run consecutively. He was given credit for 244days in jail and recommended for the Nexus drug treatment program. Manley said he would receive no parole considerationfor five years. Charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault were dismissed.

Prosecuting attorney Ben Anciaux, who asked for a 20-year sentence in prison with 10 years suspended, said Gowen choked the victim twice to the point of unconsciousness. That incident took place Jan. 5 at a St. Ignatius residence where Gowen kicked in the door of a residence and broke into a bedroom and assaulted the woman, according to a court document. Gowen said he had used marijuana and claimed the woman was using his prescription medications.

Anciaux said Gowen fractured the woman’s left eye on April 11, 2015 and fractured her right shoulder on Nov. 13, 2015.

On March 23, 2016, Gowen threatened the woman after she accepted a Facebook friend request from another man, a court document states.

Defense attorney Robert Long asked for eight years in the Department of Corrections with four years suspended.

“He’s never committed an act of violence in his life except against (the victim),” Long said.

Gowen’s mother, Margaret Ann Gowen, testified and said Gowen and the victim had been together for 12 years, lost two of their children to Child Protective Services and his dad died. Margaret Ann Gowen said she had moved to Colorado. Saying that she had worked with the system for 30 years, she said a prison sentence for her son would be unwarranted and counterproductive because he would be with an angry population in prison.

Joshuah Gowen also testified and said what he did was disgusting.

“A lot of it was fueled by us using (drugs) together,” he said. “I need help. I’ve been asking for help since February.”

“I just want (the victim) and my children to feel safe and happy,” Gowen said.

Manley likened the latter statement to an old expression: There are no atheists in

a foxhole.

“The beatings have become progressively more savage,” Manley said.

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