Man facing felony charge

SHERBURN — An Elmore man is facing a felony charge in Martin County.

James Allen Knight, 34, has been charged with assault in the third degree, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

Two Sherburn/Welcome police officers were dispatched to the P&J Motel on First Street in Sherburn on a report of a domestic assault between a woman and Knight. Dispatch reported the woman had left the scene.

While police were en route to the motel, a Casey’s gas station employee in Sherburn called dispatch and indicated there was a female party who came in to the gas station who was bleeding. Officers went to the gas station and identified the woman, whom they observed was missing a tooth.

One officer went to the motel to meet with Knight and a witness. The officer observed that Knight had a shirt wrapped around his right hand. Knight said his hand was cut up pretty bad, but he refused to call an ambulance.

Knight indicated the woman showed up in her car to pick up their son. Knight said the woman came to the door and was yelling loudly, and he said both the storm and screen doors were open. Knight said he told the woman he was going to close the door, and as he was doing so she pushed him with two hands.

Knight said the woman punched him in the left, upper portion of his jaw. The officer did not observe any bruising or redness on Knight’s face at the time. Knight then stated he swung a blind right hand toward the woman, stating he thought he hit her somewhere near the mouth.

Knight admitted that after he punched her, they both fell to the ground. Knight said he felt the woman try to get on top of him, so he got on top of her instead. He then said he heard his shirt rip, and that is when the witness came outside and asked if she should call the police, to which he stated yes.

The second officer spoke with the woman at the gas station. She said she was late in getting home to pick up her son so she exchanged text messages with Knight about being late. She said Knight said it wasn’t his problem and that she needed to be more responsible.

The woman then stated she got a message from a friend saying her son had been dropped off by Knight at her place. She said she got really upset and went to the motel to confront Knight. She said she asked Knight why he would just drop off his son with somebody who was not expecting him.

She said Knight stepped outside and told her that if she was going to yell, he would just slam the door in her face. She said he chest-bumped her and she pushed him away, indicating Knight then swung at her. She said she believed he hit her with a closed fist because it knocked her tooth out.

Knight was taken into custody.

A check on Knight’s criminal record shows he has a conviction for domestic assault in January 2008.