Man charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault in alleged domestic violence incident

James Roy Bell Jr., 29, of Lawrence, was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault in Douglas County District Court Tuesday in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident over the weekend.

Just after 2 a.m. Saturday, Lawrence police were called to a downtown bar to speak with a woman who said she’d been the victim of domestic violence. The woman told police that Bell threatened to harm himself and her with a knife, barred her from leaving an apartment they were in, broke her telephone and battered her when she tried to leave the apartment, Lawrence police spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley said.

The woman eventually broke free from the home, McKinley said, running to the nearby downtown bar “where she knew friends would be.” That’s when police were called.

Police found the woman with “numerous visible injuries,” though none was listed as life-threatening, McKinley said. Police went to the apartment to try to find Bell, but were unsuccessful that night. They eventually arrested and booked him into the Douglas County Jail around 1:15 p.m. Monday.

Chief Douglas County District Judge Robert Fairchild on Tuesday set Bell’s bond at $25,000. If he is released, he is banned from contacting the victim or consuming alcohol. He must also not return to the apartment where the crimes are alleged to have occurred.

If convicted, Bell could face up to 34 months in prison for each charge, depending on his criminal history. Bell remained in the Douglas County Jail as of Tuesday evening.

Bell is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 4.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was unable to provide Bell’s booking photo Tuesday.