A Natrona County Circuit Court Judge set a $100,000 cash-only bond for a Casper man accused of assaulting a woman with hammer during initial appearances on Monday.

56-year-old Clifton Qualls faces these felony charges, according to Judge Michael Patchen:

  • First-degree sexual assault, punishable by five years to 50 years imprisonment.
  • Aggravated assault, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Possession of a deadly weapon, punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
  • Felonious restraint, punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
  • Misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • Misdemeanor use of a controlled substance, punishable by up to one year in jail.

During the initial appearance, a somewhat incoherent Qualls sparred with Patchen, and reluctantly raised his right hand when asked if he would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

When Patchen asked him if he understood he was under oath, he responded, "I will do what you said."

When the judge asked Qualls if he had any questions about his rights, he responded, "at this time - no."

Qualls took issue with Patchen about appearing by videoconference from the Natrona County Detention Center.

"You're not looking at me face-to-face like a man," he said.

The judge talked to him saying that he could see Qualls by video face-to-face, and that appeased him.

"I'm not trying to be funny," Qualls said. "I want to be heard."

However, Patchen had to remind Qualls that anything he said could be used against him because he was being recorded, and Natrona County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Arrache was present.

Regarding bond, Arrache said Qualls had a criminal record going back to the mid- to late-1980s with drunk driving charges, drug possession, aggravated assault and domestic violence.

"Given the allegations - he used a hammer as a deadly weapon, he kept the victim and then sexually assaulted her," Arrache recommended a $100,000 cash-only bond, and Patchen agreed.

Qualls will have a preliminary hearing in 10 days if he does not bond out and within 20 days if he does. During the preliminary hearing, the state will present evidence that a crime probably occurred and that Qualls probably committed it. If a judge agrees, he will be bound over to Natrona County District Court for trial.

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