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Ogema man sentenced for felony domestic assault

James Lee Tow, 47, of 39950, County Road 34, Ogema has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony domestic assault.

Dropped in a plea agreement were felony charges of harassment and fifth-degree assault, and a gross misdemeanor charge of interfering with a 911 emergency call.

According to court records:

On May 9, he come home intoxicated and starting assaulting his wife as she lay in bed, hitting her in the face and attempting to choke her. She tried to call 911 but he prevented her, and when a small child in the house tried to call 911, he yelled at her until she dropped the phone and ran downstairs.

Officers responded to the hang-up 911 call and found he had left the residence. The victim was in the living room with several small children, and had marks on her neck and wrists.

Tow was found hiding in the back yard, partially submerged in a lake with his eyes and nose out of the water. He was "extremely aggressive and argumentative" with officers, and admitted to assaulting the woman, saying she wouldn't testify against him.

He was convicted of assault or terroristic threats against the woman in 2001, 2002, and 2005.

On Thursday, District Judge Lisa Borgen sentenced Tow to 15 months in prison, execution of sentence stayed five years. He was placed on supervised probation for five years, and ordered to serve 90 days in jail, with credit for three days served.

Work release was approved. He was fined $1,000 plus court fees, but can do community service work in lieu of the fine.

He was ordered to have no contact with the victim until approved by his probation officer and to complete a 27-day program at White Earth. He must submit to random drug testing.