Dickinson man pleads not guilty to chargesA Dickinson man pleaded not guilty Monday at a preliminary hearing in Southwest District Court in Dickinson to charges that he violated a protection order and broke into an apartment belonging to the mother of his child and choked the woman.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
A Dickinson man pleaded not guilty Monday at a preliminary hearing in Southwest District Court in Dickinson to charges that he violated a protection order and broke into an apartment belonging to the mother of his child and choked the woman.
Robert Pilot, 20, allegedly forced his way into the female victim’s apartment Nov. 3, at night with intent to assault the victim, which constitutes Class B felony burglary, according to the criminal complaint.
Pilot’s alleged entry into the apartment was a violation of a protection he was served with in favor of the victim on July 24. Violating a protection order is a Class A misdemeanor.
During a confrontation with the victim, Pilot is alleged to have choked the female victim and impeding her ability to breathe properly, according to the criminal complaint. Aggravated assault is a Class C felony.
Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Henning called two officers with the Dickinson Police Department to the stand, who both testified that the victim indicated that she returned to her apartment to find her front door kicked in where is had not been before she left it.
“They indicated that there was a struggle and the victim eventually got away to her car,” Henning said, adding that the officers also testified that a neighbor reported witnessing Pilot choking the victim enough to restrict her airways.
But Pilot’s attorney, Thomas Murtha, argued that there was no probable cause to believe that Pilot was the one who committed the crime.
“And as far as the burglary charge, there is no evidence of a burglary at all,” Murtha said. “Supposedly, there was a busted door, but nothing indicating my client did it.”
But Judge H. Patrick Weir said, there was enough probable cause to move forward with future hearings in the case because of testimony that the victim’s apartment front door was believed to be kicked in when the victim returned to her apartment and Pilot was inside and a confrontation reportedly ensued between him and the victim, according to neighbors.