Exeter man charged with assault, DWI
Victim reported being cut by suspect with a knife
An Exeter man is facing two felony charges after allegedly assaulting two people and then wrecking his vehicle while driving while intoxicated.
Steve Thomas, 54, of Exeter, is charged with first-degree domestic assault and driving while intoxicated-persistent offender. He is being held in the Barry County jail on a cash-only bond of $40,000.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Trooper T. Coffey, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, he responded to a domestic assault report on Saturday at a home on Highway 76. The victim said Thomas had choked another person, and had assaulted her and cut her chest with a large knife. The victim said Thomas threatened her life, and she was afraid to return home.
Coffey said in the report as he arrived at the home, he noticed a blue Chevrolet S-10 that had wrecked off the south side of the roadway and was smoking. According to an earlier description from dispatch, the vehicle matched the one Thomas was said to be driving.
Coffey said Thomas was driving west on Highway 76 and attempted to negotiate a curve, traveled off the right side of the roadway, then went off the left side of the roadway and into a ditch.
When speaking with Thomas, Coffey suspected he was intoxicated, and a preliminary breath test showed higher than the legal limit of blood alcohol content.
Thomas allegedly admitted to having a few drinks and getting in an altercation earlier, but saying he did not attack the victim. A search of Thomas' person at the time of his arrest also turned up a metal smoking device with visible marijuana still inside, which Thomas said he smoked.
Once brought to the Cassville Police Station, Thomas originally would not submit to a breath test and was having mood swings from being threatening to being semi-cooperative, according to Coffey. Thomas later took the test, which showed a blood alcohol content of 0.136.
Thomas has had two prior alcohol-related arrests in Barry County, including two DWIs in Cassville, on Nov. 26, 2002, and Dec. 19, 2002. He was also found guilty of a DWI in Monett in 1982. His driving privileges were revoked at the time of the arrest.
Thomas was arraigned on Monday, and a disposition hearing is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.