SWEETWATER COUNTY -- Rock Springs man accused of beating his longtime partner pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Darrel Lee Montez, 42, pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of aggravated assault and battery and one misdemeanor count of domestic battery at his Nov. 10 arraignment in the Sweetwater 3rd District Court of Judge Richard Lavery. The judge set Montez's trial for March 13, 2017, and continued Montez's bond at $75,000.

Officers with the Rock Springs Police Department responded to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County on Oct. 23, according to a police affidavit. Victoria Klemetsen was in the hospital, and officers reported seeing a large wound on her cheek. Klemetsen told police she was allegedly assaulted at 108 Gateway Boulevard, where Montez and Klemetsen lived. She said they were playing a game, and when Klemetsen asked Montez to put away his phone, he allegedly hit her.

She told police Montez hit her more than once, resulting in Klemetsen losing consciousness.

In addition to the cheek wound, doctors determined Klemetsen had a broken collarbone.

If convicted of the charges, Montez faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and six months and $20,750 in court fees.

Queen Reporter

Ann Jantz is a Rock Springs native and attended Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in dance and choreography. She taught at WWCC and worked at the Rocket and Green River Star.

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