Change of venue sustained in Latham domestic assault case
Gainesville resident Johnathan Latham, currently in prison on an unrelated matter, will see his newest filed case transferred outside Ozark County.
Latham filed change of judge and change of venue motions in July, and Associate Circuit Judge Elizabeth Bock, who was assigned to the case, sustained the motion last week.
Bock recused herself, and the case was sent to the Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator for judicial reassignment.
Latham is charged with first-degree domestic assault, possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a firearm in that case.
Court documents indicate that the alleged assault resulted in the following injuries to a victim: bruises to the face, both arms, torso, back, both legs and both feet; two fractured ribs and multiple nasal fractures; a concussion; subconjunctival hemorrhaging in both eyes; an inner ear injury and abrasions to the top of the feet and spine that “are consistent with dragging,” the probable cause statement says.
An individual who reportedly arrived at the Latham home sometime after the alleged assault told authorities there were puddles of blood on the floor, blood stains on the bedding and smeared blood on the walls of the dwelling.
Later transported to Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas, the victim told emergency room personnel that the injuries were the result of an assault by Latham.
First-degree domestic assault is usually classified as a class B felony. However, because Latham is charged as a prior and persistent offender, he could be sentenced as if it were a class A felony, a charge that requires a sentence of 10 to 30 years in prison or life imprisonment. The sentence is the harshest punishment available under Missouri law besides the death penalty.