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Police say man threatened roommate with hammer

Crime Watch

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Joey Lee Ray | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man is behind bars after he allegedly made threats with a hammer because of a child molester.

Joseph “Joey” Lee Ray, 57, is charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, Ray allegedly held a hammer over his head saying he planned to beat a child molester to death.

Police reports from June 27 indicate that Ray’s girlfriend told him a man molested a child’s family member. The statement reportedly made Ray upset and he began arguing with another man who lived with him.

The man told officers Ray then grabbed a large claw hammer and began making threats to his roommate. The victim stood up, told Ray to stop, and then Ray put the hammer down. Moments later, Ray reportedly said he wanted to beat the child molester to death. The man Ray believed to be a child molester did not live at the home.

An officer’s report says Ray had been drinking, although he denied it because it was too early in the morning and liquor stores were closed. Ray allegedly told police he did threaten the man with a hammer but did not intend to hurt him.

Ray remains in the Bonneville County Jail on $10,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.

If convicted of felony aggravated assault, a judge could order Ray to spend up to five years in prison.

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