The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 9, 2013

Suspect in Joplin assault captured

JOPLIN, Mo. — A fugitive sought in connection with an Oct. 30 assault that left a Joplin woman critically injured has been arrested.

Mark A. Thomas, 28, of Diamond, was arrested Friday in the 700 block of South Picher Avenue after police received an anonymous tip as to his whereabouts. Four felony warrants were served on him, and he remains in custody at the Jasper County Jail on bonds totaling $202,000.

Thomas is charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in connection with the assault of Amy Denney, 29, of Joplin, about 1:35 a.m. on Oct. 30 at 3216 S. Grand Ave.

Thomas allegedly beat Denney in the head with a blunt instrument, causing severe injuries to her skull and brain. Since then, she has been released from the hospital and is continuing to recover, according to police.

An officer who initially arrived on the scene of the assault observed Thomas near the victim’s apartment. Witnesses subsequently identified him as her assailant, but he eluded arrest at that time, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

A second suspect, Samuel J. Hughes, 24, was arrested Nov. 1 and charged with participating in the attack. A separate affidavit alleges that Hughes struck Denney’s head several times with his knee.

Two of the arrest warrants served on Thomas were issued by Newton County, where he had been convicted in February of felony possession of marijuana and felony possession of a firearm stemming from charges filed in January 2011. He received suspended sentences and probation on those convictions, and the arrest warrants allege violation of that probation.

2012 conviction

Thomas also had been convicted in Jasper County in August 2012 of felony possession of marijuana and was released on probation about a year ago.

 

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