A judge decided Thursday at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court that a Carterville man should stand trial on a charge that he assaulted another man.

Judge Joe Hensley ordered Nicholas A. King, 37, to stand trial on a count of first-degree assault.

James Mason testified at the hearing that he has known King for five years and had been in a relationship with him for six months when King assaulted him July 30 as he was on his way to work.

Mason said they had been arguing and he got in his car to go to work and King got in with him and told him he wanted use of the vehicle after Mason got to work. Mason told him he could not have his car, and the argument continued until King started punching Mason several times in the head as he was driving.

Mason pulled up to the Webb City police station with the intention of reporting the assault. But, after some further discussion with the defendant, Mason said he decided he would drop him off at a friend's house instead.

But, as they were on their way there, King again began hitting him and this time drew blood, he told the court. Mason consequently sought police help a second time, an ambulance was called and he was taken to Mercy Hospital Joplin, where he was treated for a concussion and an ear that was split down the middle, he said.

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