A 19-year-old Yacolt man pleaded not guilty Friday to assaulting a relative’s ex-boyfriend June 24 outside a gas station in Battle Ground.
Joseph A. “Joey” Mitchell was charged in Clark County Superior Court with first-degree assault. He remains in the Clark County Jail on $50,000 bail.
His trial is tentatively set for Aug. 19
The brutal attack sent the 17-year-old victim to Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Medical Center with broken bones and a traumatic brain injury, according to a probable cause affidavit.
During Friday’s hearing, the victim sat with more than 20 family members and friends in the courtroom’s public gallery.
His face was swollen and bore multiple stitches. Four of his supporters stood side-to-side, forming a kind of human wall, as Mitchell, restrained in shackles, was ushered out of courtroom. Mitchell smiled when he saw them.
The victim’s supporters said they’re angry about Mitchell’s claim that he committed the assault because he’d heard the victim had raped his ex-girlfriend, Mitchell’s relative.
Mitchell’s allegation against the victim is false, his mother said Friday. Battle Ground police Chief Bob Richardson confirmed that the boy is not under investigation.
Rather, the victim used to date Mitchell’s relative, and the couple broke up on good terms, his mother said.
According to the probable cause affidavit:
Mitchell confessed that he slammed the boy into a wall at a Chevron station at 16 N.W. 13th Ave. in Battle Ground, then punched and kicked him until he was unconscious.
Mitchell had teeth marks on his hands, which, he said, came from the victim’s biting him. Mitchell also had marks on his elbows.
Before driving away, Mitchell said, he turned the victim on his side so he wouldn’t choke on his own blood.
The victim later regained consciousness and drove to his current girlfriend’s house. He then was taken to the hospital.
The assault allegedly happened soon after the suspect and the victim had attended a party near Fargher Lake.