James Emerson Found Guilty Of Aggravated Assault; Might Get Enhanced Penalty
The verdict is in for a Casper man accused of assaulting his nephew.
A jury has found 48-year old James Emerson guilty of one charge of aggravated assault.
Investigators with the Casper Police Department say in March, Emerson was drinking at the victim’s residence on Burlington Avenue and got into an argument with another person.
He eventually left and went home, but left his cell phone behind.
The victim told investigators that after he returned it, Emerson jumped him from behind, and put a knife to his neck, saying he was going to slit his throat.
During the struggle, the victim was slashed in the cheek, with an engraved pocket knife.
When questioned by police, Emerson said he could not remember anything about the altercation, and claimed that he had lost the knife in question earlier, but officers eventually found it inside his residence, and tests later showed that the blood on the knife belonged to the victim.
The defense argued that Emerson was attacked first and that the victim had choked him out during the altercation.
They also questioned the investigating procedures done by police.
Prosecutors then sought to apply the habitual criminal tag to Emerson, because he has two prior felony convictions (burglary and running a meth lab), but Emerson decided to stipulate to the judge that his prior criminal record is true.
Emerson will be sentenced at a later date, and normally he would get up to 10 years in prison for the aggravated assault charge, but with his prior criminal record, the judge could give him an enhanced sentence of 10-to-50 years behind bars.