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St. James man facing felony counts

FAIRMONT — A St. James man is facing felony charges in Martin County.

Jose Arturo Sanchez, 30, has been charged with domestic assault and drug possession in the fifth degree. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On May 5, officers from the Fairmont Police Department and deputies from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the Walmart parking lot on a report of a male pulling a woman, attempting to get her into a vehicle.

An officer arrived and observed multiple employees standing with the woman. The officer attempted to find the male, later identified as Sanchez, but was unsuccessful.

The officer spoke with the woman, who indicated she was with Sanchez in Austin earlier that day. She explained that in Austin she had asked Sanchez to sit in the back seat with a child but he refused. She said Sanchez became upset and refused to leave with them.

The woman then indicated she drove away to fill up with gas. Sanchez called her and told her he would ride with them if she returned to pick him up. She did so.

During their drive from Austin, Sanchez was arguing with her and was upset because he wanted to drive. She said she did not want Sanchez to drive because he was intoxicated.

She said the child began to cry and Sanchez told her to take the next exit on Interstate 90, which was the Granada exit. She said Sanchez exited the vehicle, opened the driver’s door and attempted to pull her from the vehicle, despite her seat belt still being fastened.

The woman said Sanchez punched her on the left side of the face. The officer observed redness around the side of her left eye.

She said Sanchez then took her cell phone and threw it on the floor, then entered the front passenger side door and punched the windshield, causing it to crack. She said she then drove to Walmart so she would have a safe place for her and the child to get away from Sanchez. She said she removed the child from the vehicle and Sanchez yelled at her to get back inside.

As the officer was speaking with the woman, Sanchez was located by a deputy in the vicinity of a gas station in Fairmont. Sanchez was kneeling against the building and not complying with orders from the deputy. Sanchez was handcuffed and placed under arrest by another officer.

When asked if he had anything on him, Sanchez said he had marijuana. The officer searched Sanchez and discovered multiple bags of marijuana.

During the transport, Sanchez was disorderly. He banged his head against the walls of the vehicle and yelled. At one point, the officer pulled over to receive assistance from the deputy in getting Sanchez to comply with orders. During this period of time, Sanchez used force and threat of force to resist the officers’ commands.

A deputy later spoke with Sanchez at the Martin County jail. Sanchez denied assaulting the woman and claimed the marijuana was for personal use.

A check on Sanchez’s criminal history shows a conviction for felony domestic assault in 2019, a conviction for fifth-degree assault in 2019, and two separate convictions for felony third-degree assault in 2015.

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