A Mauston man was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, felony intimidation of a victim and other charges after an incident May 18.

Joshua J. Morales, 34, faces a possible $25,000 fine or imprisonment of no more than 10 years, or both, for the first offense and the same penalties for the second charge. Morales was also charged with misdemeanor battery, domestic abuse, criminal damage to property, telephone harassment and disorderly conduct, domestic abuse. Both the misdemeanor battery charge and the property damage offense carry possible $10,000 fines, or a prison term of nine months, or both. For telephone harassment and disorderly conduct, Morales could be fined $1,000 or face 90 days in prison, or both, for both charges.

Since Morales was convicted of a felony in Milwaukee County in 2013, he could face steeper punishment if convicted of the subsequent offenses.

According to a criminal complaint:

The Mauston Police Department was called to investigate a threat complaint May 19 when a female said Morales threatened to come over and “bash her face in.”

Based on further investigation, police read a Facebook message from Morales stating he was going to “break her face” if she didn’t get items from his residence and it would be “breaking news today.” The alleged victim said Morales was extremely jealous and controlling and had struck her a week earlier for making eye contact with one of his friends.

She also said Morales had taken a .22 Ruger handgun and said there was a bullet with her name on it. When she threatened to leave the house with her kids, Morales allegedly punched her in the side of her face. He continued to assault her in the living room with children present in the home. She fled to a family member’s house where Morales found her the following day and continued to allegedly make threats.

An officer from Mauston observed bruising on her face and legs, but she refused medical treatment. When police interviewed a family member, he confirmed Morales was very controlling and jealous of the female. Morales called her again and said he didn’t care if he goes to prison or dies.

When officers came to arrest Morales, he was cooperative but didn’t know why they came to his house. He was handcuffed and transported to the county jail. While in custody, he was questioned about the incidents and said he did get into heated arguments with the female, but wouldn’t comment further until his lawyer was present.

Mauston police found the .22 Ruger in his residence loaded with 11 rounds. Morales is scheduled to have a pre-trial conference in the district attorney’s office July 12 at 9:15 a.m. and will have a plea hearing Aug. 1 at 12:45 p.m. at the Juneau County Justice Center. A $1,000 cash bond was set May 22 but has not been signed.

Contact Kevin Damask at 608-963-7323 or on Twitter @kdamask

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