Convicted of animal molestation headed for trial on assault costs


A Lincoln County man already behind bars for animal cruelty is headed for a three-day trial over an assault on a gun cost within the Flathead County District Court docket.

Prosecutors accuse Domingo J. Palafox, 31, of taking pictures a fishing couple within the Hungry Horse Reservoir in June 2020. On the time, Lincoln County authorities had been inside weeks of arrest on suspicion of animal cruelty aggravated and two counts of tampering with a witness.

The 2 victims within the Flathead County case informed investigators they had been fishing close to Doris Level on June 5 after they heard gunshots, based on courtroom paperwork. They quickly noticed a person standing on the shore firing a rifle of their path.

In response to the victims, the person inspired them to depart the world.

“How great [day] to be in America “, the person would have shouted from the shore.” We got here right here to get away from the individuals. He got here to flee from [expletives] Comets. We have now been right here earlier than. Why do not you go away? “

The 2 fishermen pulled anchor, fled and known as the emergency well being companies.

Deputies from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Workplace, in collaboration with Forest Service brokers, discovered a person who matched the outline supplied by the victims nonetheless within the space and recognized him as Palafox. In response to courtroom paperwork, Palafox had modified his garments after the taking pictures. He additionally allegedly hid the rifle within the woods.

Beneath interrogation, Palafox allegedly admitted taking pictures fishermen and directed investigators the place they might discover spent bullets.

In the meantime, a witness informed authorities that Palafox had defined to him that he was making an attempt to “scare” the fishermen.

ONLY A the day earlier than, residents of Troy and Libby led a justice march across the former neighborhood, providing a reward for info that led to the arrest of the person who deserted an abused canine originally of that. 12 months. The Alaskan malamute, renamed Percy, was discovered wandering by a Trojan resident in March.

Delivered to authorities after which to a vet, Percy suffered burns, amongst different accidents, and was emaciated. Native animal rights activists quickly concluded that somebody had in all probability sprinkled him with an accelerator and set him on fireplace.

Rumors that the abuse had been filmed rapidly unfold by the city. Whereas native police had been investigating, residents of each cities launched a marketing campaign to carry the canine’s attacker to justice.

Just a few days later, Palafox confronted a person exterior an space fuel station, based on courtroom paperwork filed with the Lincoln County District Court docket. The person would have seen the video of Palafox setting the animal on fireplace. He and his brother would later inform authorities that Palafox had threatened to take a $ 10,000 bounty on their heads in the event that they talked to the police.

The brothers got here ahead anyway. On June 22, authorities arrested Palafox on one cost of aggravated animal cruelty and two for tampering with a witness.

Percy, in the meantime, underwent surgical procedure and recovered from his accidents. In well being, he has discovered a brand new house with a Canadian.

Finally, Palafox pleaded responsible to the aggravated animal abuse cost in 2020. He was discovered responsible of the 2 tampering costs in a courtroom trial in December of that 12 months.

District Decide Matthew Cuffe described the circumstances surrounding the case as horrifying and distinctive to Lincoln County as he delivered his sentence in February 2021. Cuffe granted Palafox 10 years in Montana state jail with a further 12 years underneath supervision. . He cited the specter of coming into into knowledgeable contract on a witness as one of many causes for the prolonged sentence.

“The violence, the conduct, is sort of unfathomable,” Cuffe mentioned.

ALMOST A A 12 months after Palafox’s Lincoln County case reached its climax with a bench trial and a responsible plea, Flathead County authorities known as for his arrest on assault costs. A warrant was issued on November 2, 2021.

Palafox made his most up-to-date look in district courtroom, by way of videoconference from Montana state jail, on July 13. In the course of the preliminary convention, protection legal professional Nicholas Aemisegger requested a three-day trial, which was granted by Decide Heidi Ulbricht.

Palafox’s case is anticipated to be submitted to a jury on August thirty first. A closing state convention is scheduled for August 19.

If convicted, Palafox faces a most sentence of 20 years behind bars and a $ 50,000 fantastic.

Information editor Derrick Perkins may be contacted at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.

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