A Casper man pleaded not guilty to a charge of hitting a pregnant woman in January, he said during his arraignment in Natrona County District Court on Monday.

Michael Allen Carpenter, 27, was arrested in January on a felony count of aggravated assault and battery, and a misdemeanor count of interference with a 911 call.

Carpenter entered the plea to Judge Catherine Wilking. A trial date will be set later, Wilking said.

If convicted on both counts, he could be sentenced to up to 10 years, six months imprisonment.

Carpenter remains in custody on a $15,000 bond.

The case started Jan. 26 when Casper police officers went to a home on East M Street after a woman called dispatch, saying Carpenter hit her in the face and was trying to run away, according to court documents.

An officer arrived and found Carpenter walking west on East M Street, evidently trying to flag down a driver. When Carpenter saw the marked police car, he tried to quickly walk away, according to court documents.

The officer talked to Carpenter, asking if he’d been at the home where the alleged assault occurred. Carpenter said he had been staying there.

Carpenter told the officer the victim woke him up that morning, threw things at him, pushed him and told him to leave the apartment. He also said he believed the victim “walked into his hand,” and denied he hit her, according to court records.

The officer spoke with the victim, who said she was five months pregnant. She suspected Carpenter of using drugs, told him to leave and they started arguing.

As they argued, Carpenter allegedly hit the victim in her mouth. She was unsure whether it was with an open hand or a closed fist. She said her mouth began to bleed.

The victim tried to dial 911, but Carpenter slapped the phone out of her hands and he left.

She then was able to get the phone and call police.

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