A Missoula man with a long history of Partner or Family Member Assault and now Felony Strangulation is being held in the Missoula County Jail on $250,000 bond after his appearance in Missoula Justice Court.

47 year-old Justin Nottingham appeared before Judge Alex Beal from the Missoula County Jail.

Deputy County Attorney Brian Lowney, who was recently honored as ‘Prosecutor of the Year’ for his work helping victims of domestic violence, appeared for the state.

“This is based on the violence in this case and also Mr. Nottingham's criminal history, as the Court likely notes from the affidavit, since July 2019,” said Lowney. “So a little over two years by my count, the sheriff's office has been called out to investigate domestic violence from Mr. Nottingham towards this victim at least eight times. Those calls are often by third party witnesses; either family members of Jane Doe or by other guests who are staying at Mr. Nottingham and Miss Doe’s house.”

Lowney said the alleged victim often denied the abuse out of fear of the defendant.

“When the sheriff's office responds, oftentimes Miss Doe either recounts or asserts that nothing has happened,” he said. “However, in the more recent violence incidents Miss Doe has reported that the violence has been increasing in the last six months and she has repeated multiple times that she believes Mr. Nottingham intends to kill her.”

Lowney told Judge Beal that the history of violence perpetrated by the defendant reaches back for decades against a number of female victims.

“The state's view over the last 20 years is that he's demonstrated that he is interested in committing violence towards his partners, and I expect a lot of that is alcohol fueled,” he said. “He's very intoxicated at most of these incidents but in general, I think releasing him on his own recognizance (as requested by the public defender) is a recipe for disaster in that this victim is likely to end up seriously hurt or dead if that happens. I also know that the court is in agreement that he should not have contact with this victim. The court should note that to the defendant, because I think the defendant has not heard that message yet.”

Judge Beal then addressed the defendant, instituting a no-contact order to protect the victim from further potential abuse.

“Additionally, I'm setting bond in the amount of a quarter million dollars, that’s $250,000,” said Judge Beal. “I believe that you are a significant risk both to the community and to that person as well. I do share very much the state's concerns that I'm very glad that this is not a homicide, but I have no faith at all, but it would not very soon be so, especially given the trends and the history.”

Bail was set at $250,000 and Nottingham was remanded to the Missoula County Jail.

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