A Franklin County man accused of beating his ex-wife with a metal bar last month has entered a not guilty plea in the case.

Joesph Marinaccio, 34, Berger, is charged with one felony count of first-degree assault causing serious injury in the Feb. 1 incident. He remains in the county jail on a $75,000 cash-only bond.

First-degree assault is a Class A felony which has a sentencing range of 10 years to 30 years, or life in prison.

Marinaccio’s ex-wife reported the assault Feb. 19 to the sheriff’s office after she spent several days in the hospital recovering from her injuries, Sheriff Gary Toelke said.

The woman told deputies she had gone to Marinaccio’s home on Fifth Street in Berger to get a bank card that was designated for aid for her children and after an argument began she attempted to leave. At that point, Marinaccio grabbed the metal bar and began chasing her through the house, the sheriff said.

The woman said she ran into the bathroom and fell into the bathtub where she was beaten.

While the suspect and his new girlfriend were discussing what to do with her, the victim was able to run from the home to a neighbor’s house, according to the report.

She later was taken to Hermann Area District Hospital for treatment including surgery for an injury to her hand, the sheriff’s office said.

After she reported the assault, deputies began searching for Marinaccio and learned that he had left the area and traveled to Kansas City.

About 9 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, deputies received information that Marinaccio may have returned to his home in Berger. They surrounded the home, but the suspect refused to come out.

After they forced open a door, officers found the man in the bathroom. He had more than an ounce of suspected crystal methamphetamine in his possession, said Detective Cpl. Scott Briggs of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit.

Briggs said that case will be submitted to the prosecutor after the drugs seized have been analyzed.

Marinaccio initially was held without bond in a November 2012 case in which he is charged with felony second-degree domestic assault and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child, according to court records.

Associate Circuit Judge Dave Hoven issued an arrest warrant after Marinaccio failed to appear in court Feb. 13 for a hearing in that case.

Marinaccio’s next court appearance is scheduled for this Thursday.