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Man arrested after taking child April 19, 2014

26-year-old charged with elder abuse

Jefferson City resident David W. Martin, 26, was charged on Monday with first-degree elder abuse, a Class A felony, stemming from a May 13 incident.

At about 5:44 a.m. on May 14, Cole County deputies responded to assist medical staff with an elderly male who had fallen.

Both of 67-year-old John Rice’s eyes were swollen shut, and he had a large bruise on the left side of his face, according to the probable cause statement.

A coffee table was broken inside the residence, and Rice said he had fallen the evening of May 13. But he changed his story later the next day, telling deputies that Martin had assaulted him. He said Martin was an old friend who had been staying with him for a couple of weeks.

Rice said he had gotten out of bed and into the front living room when Martin hit him in the face an unknown number of times. He said he didn’t know what else had happened, but he had fractures to both his skull and face.

Martin, who had been arrested for a parole violation earlier in the day, said Rice had tripped and fallen down a stair.

But in June, Rice provided a letter to authorities written by Martin in which he apologizes and asks for forgiveness. “And you know that wasn’t me that night,” the letter reads. “I don’t know what possessed me to do that.”

Bond was set at $75,000.

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