Leola man arrested after report of assault

Machete warded off beau, victim says

HOT SPRINGS -- A man from Leola, about 30 miles south of Benton, was arrested on felony assault charges early Saturday after he was accused of firing a gun at his girlfriend while she hid from him behind a tree with a machete, police said.

Andrew Romac Edwards, 35, was taken into custody shortly before 1:30 a.m. near Lena Landing Recreation Area in Jessieville north of Hot Springs and charged with a felony count of aggravated assault, punishable by up to six years in prison.

Edwards remained in custody in lieu of $2,500 bond and appeared Monday in Garland County District Court.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Garland County sheriff's deputies Jimmy Caldwell and Aaron Bowerman were dispatched to the Lena Landing area in reference to a domestic disturbance. While en route, dispatch informed them they would have to use a boat to get to the scene.

The deputies got a ride on the Jessieville Fire Department boat and met with the victim, 35, who said her boyfriend, identified as Edwards, had left for a job interview, and she failed to pick him up afterward. The woman said she found out he was walking back to camp and left to look for him.

The woman said she found her boyfriend in the woods, adding that he began screaming at her that he was covered in ticks and needed "tick spray." He then got into his boat, launched it into the water and continued to argue with her while she stayed on land, she said. While they argued, she said, she hid behind a tree with a machete.

She said her boyfriend returned to land and told her, "we are about to figure this out." Then he saw her hiding behind the tree and began walking toward her. The woman said he pointed a gun at her and fired one shot in her direction.

The woman said she told him, "Come on up here where I am and get cut up like a man." The boyfriend then left in his boat, according to the affidavit.

When deputies returned with the girlfriend to the boat ramp, Edwards was there and was taken into custody.


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State Desk on 05/22/2018