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Gazette Staff

A fight at a Heights bar Thursday night landed a man in jail on a felony charge of assault with a weapon.

Robert Morris, 26, of 1032 Lake Elmo Drive, No. 15, is accused of using a lamp to hit another man in the face after a disagreement at the Circle Inn on Main Street. According to court documents, the victim had a broken nose, broken facial bones and cuts.

Morris appeared Friday in Justice Court and was ordered held on $50,000 bond. Prosecutor Laura Watson said Morris was convicted of a felony in 1998 and has “quite a list” of misdemeanor convictions.

Morris and the victim told Billings police officers different versions of what happened, according to court documents. The victim said Morris approached him, his girlfriend and her daughter while they sat at the Circle Inn. Morris told officers that he was responding to a racial remark.

The victim said he did not hear what Morris was saying to them, but that Morris appeared to get angry and walked away, then “flipped off” the victim, according to the affidavit. The victim then walked up to Morris and was hit in the face with something, it states.

The victim’s girlfriend said Morris was “hitting on” her daughter and the woman told him to leave her alone, according to the affidavit.

Morris left the bar, returned and left again before police arrived, but witnesses were able to give his vehicle’s license plate number to officers. Police used the license to locate Morris’s home where they found him with no signs of injury.

When he was arrested, Morris told police that a racist comment was made toward him and he had a right to defend himself although he did not mean to hurt the victim, according to the affidavit.

Officers said that when Morris used a phone at the jail he was overheard saying that “if the court finds me guilty, (the victim) is going to die. People are going to die, this is wrong,” the affidavit states. Judge Larry D. Herman said if Morris is released from jail he is to have no contact with the victim.

Morris is to appear Tuesday in District Court.

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