Man, 22, pleads guilty to assaulting girlfriend, 43, with rock in 2013

2014-08-08T12:44:00Z 2014-08-09T20:40:04Z Man, 22, pleads guilty to assaulting girlfriend, 43, with rock in 2013By EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A man charged with stabbing his 43-year-old girlfriend and bludgeoning her with a rock on Mother’s Day 2013 — in what he reportedly told police was a suicide pact — pleaded guilty Friday to assault with a weapon.

On Friday, his 22nd birthday, John Claud Brown appeared in District Court and pleaded guilty to one of two charges of assault with a weapon in connection to the attack, which court records say took place shortly after midnight May 12, 2013.

At about 12:39 a.m., Billings police responded to a report of a stabbing east of the northernmost point of North 12th Street, just below the Rims.

There, they found the victim and Brown lying side by side on the ground, charging documents say.

The woman was bleeding from the left side of her head and had blood on the front of her shirt.

An officer shined a flashlight on Brown, who sat up and said, “I take full responsibility for what I did,” and went on to say that he repeatedly stabbed the woman and hit her multiple times with a rock, charging documents say.

Nearby, an officer reported finding a large, bloody sandstone.

Police reported Brown insisted there had been a suicide pact between him and the victim, but she, crying, said there wasn’t.

Brown told an officer he broke the knife he used and hid it in a rock crevice, records say. Police found the handle of a knife, but not the blade.

First responders arrived and took the woman to St. Vincent Healthcare for treatment. She later gave a statement to police, saying that Brown, her boyfriend, had come over to her home and had appeared upset.

They had gone to his apartment, she said, where Brown grabbed a kitchen knife and said he wanted to form a suicide pact.

She said she declined. When she tried to convince Brown not to commit suicide, he started stabbing her in the chest, according to her statement. She said she guessed Brown stabbed her about five times before taking a rock and her hitting her in the head with it.

The woman said she called 911, and Brown walked away.

At Brown’s sentencing on Oct. 10, the second charge of assault with a weapon — for allegedly stabbing the victim — is to be dismissed, pursuant to his plea agreement.

He remained in custody Friday with bond set at $20,000, according to booking records.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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