The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

July 24, 2013

Oklahoma man could face domestic assault charge after being stabbed

JAY, Okla. — The Delaware County Sheriff’s Department is seeking a domestic assault charge against a man who was stabbed in the chest Sunday during a dispute involving his girlfriend and her former boyfriend.

James E. Cowart, 51, was taken to Craig General Hospital in Vinita and later transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa after an incident about 9:30 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the former Mountain Mama’s Restaurant on Highway 28 east of Tijuana, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Capt. Gayle Wells said Roger Peard, 53, got into an argument with his former girlfriend, Tracy L. Holt, 46, inside a vehicle parked in the lot. Cowart intervened on Holt’s behalf and allegedly tried to assault Peard, Wells said. He said Peard told investigators that Cowart and Holt were attempting to pull him out of his vehicle when he stabbed Cowart with his pocketknife.

Wells said Peard called the Sheriff’s Department to report the stabbing while Holt and Cowart’s stepson took Cowart to the hospital in Vinita. Cowart, Peard, Holt and three other witnesses were interviewed before authorities decided to seek a charge of domestic abuse assault and battery against Cowart, according to Wells.

He said the matter was being treated as a case of domestic violence because Peard, Holt and Cowart, who is Holt’s current boyfriend, all live in the same residence.

“The stabbing of Cowart was determined to be in self-defense,” Wells said.

The Delaware County district attorney was reviewing reports of the incident and had yet to file any charge by late Wednesday afternoon.

Wells said Cowart was reported to be in stable condition Monday at the hospital in Tulsa. His injury was not considered to be life-threatening. Wells said he had not received a condition update on Cowart since Monday.

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