UPDATED: Suspect in Assault Released After Judge Reduces Bond - The Missourian: News

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UPDATED: Suspect in Assault Released After Judge Reduces Bond

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Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:54 am | Updated: 3:03 pm, Thu Oct 24, 2013.

A Sullivan man charged in a brutal assault last Sunday has been released after a judge granted a motion for a bond reduction.

Judge Dave Hoven on Friday approved a 10 percent bond, or $7,500, for Joshua D. Lueken, 32, Sullivan, according to online court records. 

The judge approved the reduction from $75,000 cash-only bond on the conditions that Lueken have no contact with the victim or witnesses in the case, that he turn over all firearms he owns to the Franklin County sheriff and that he arrange for electronic monitoring of himself during non-working hours.

Lueken had been evading officers and hiding out since investigators began searching for him earlier this week. He turned himself in about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Sheriff Gary Toelke said.

Lueken was charged Wednesday in a felony complaint with second-degree assault, armed criminal action and tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution in the Sunday, May 27, incident.

Lueken is accused of battering Jeffery Pemberton, 32, Cuba, at the Arapaho Campground along the Meramec River.

Pemberton sustained severe facial injuries, including a broken bone, and a dislocated shoulder, Toelke said.

According to reports, on Saturday, May 26, Pemberton got into an argument with some men regarding a 13-year-old girl. The alleged assault occurred when Pemberton went to the campground on Sunday and encountered the same individuals again.

The victim told deputies that he was struck in the face with a pipe and fists and kicked in the ribs. He said he later was tied to a chair and beaten until he lost consciousness, then was dumped out at the emergency room door at Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan.

Deputies used a surveillance video at the hospital to identify the suspect’s vehicle which later was located at the campground.

During the follow-up investigation, Pemberton acknowledged that he had been text messaging with the girl, who was staying at the campground with her family. But Toelke said the text messages on the girl’s cellphone did not appear to be inappropriate, based on an initial investigation.

Detectives on Thursday followed up on information that Lueken, one of the owners who managed the campground, was hiding out in a home in the Sullivan area.

Authorities indicated that Pemberton had worked at the campground in the past.

At one point, he said he was assaulted by two or three individuals.

At this point, no one else has been charged in the assault.

“Right now we can’t pinpoint any other suspects,” said Detective Lt. Chuck Subke.

Lueken has convictions in two previous misdemeanor cases and was charged earlier this year with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

He was scheduled to stand trial May 23 in the case, but that was canceled, according to online court records.

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