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Kendall assault trial continued to October

| June 9, 2020 8:30 AM

The trial for a Libby man accused of leaving his then girlfriend hospitalized with serious head injuries in 2014 and attempting to cover it up has been pushed back to October.

Jeremiah Robert Kendall faces felony charges of aggravated assault and tampering with or fabricating evidence in Lincoln County District Court. He was arraigned late last year after completing a 30-month federal sentence for possession of a firearm while subject to a restraining order.

Kendall pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Kendall’s defense attorney successfully petitioned to continue a pretrial hearing until Sept. 14 in district court last week. Were the case to go to trial, it is scheduled to start Oct. 13.

Kendall currently is out on a $100,000 bond.

Authorities began investigating the December 2014 incident after getting called to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center for a woman suffering serious head wounds. Medical personnel reported they found 38 areas of injury to the rest of her body, including “bruising, abrasions and petechiae,” according to court documents.

Investigators learned that Kendall and his mother brought the woman, who was in a romantic relationship with Kendall, to the emergency room. They told medical center staff that the woman, intoxicated, had fallen and suffered the injuries about 36 hours prior to their arrival, court documents said.

The victim’s neurologist told detectives the injuries were not consistent with a fall.

Kendall initially told investigators that the victim had fallen while dancing on a table and then again in the bathroom after a night of drinking, court documents said. He later changed his story, allegedly telling investigators that he found the victim in the bathroom with a 12-guage shotgun in her mouth.

She fell after he disarmed her and left the room, he told investigators.

Authorities also accuse Kendall of using his victim’s mobile phone to cover up the incident. According to court documents, Kendall accessed the victim’s Facebook account, posted photos and removed a Messenger conversation in which she related earlier allegations of abuse to a friend.

The victim was in a medically induced coma at the time.

When investigators seized the phone, they found that all text messages before Nov. 19, 2019 were deleted, according to court documents.

Kendall has previous partner or family member assault convictions, in 2006, 2008 and 2014.