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ND man charged with assaulting girlfriend's accused rapist denied bail reduction

Kyle Edward Coffman Submitted photo

MINOT, N.D.—Bail bond will stay at $25,000 for a 35-year-old Minot man accused of assaulting his girlfriend's accused rapist and terrorizing the man's son and grandchildren.

Kyle Edward Coffman, who has been held in jail for more than a week, had asked for a reduction in bond, but the alleged victim's daughter vehemently objected during a bond hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

The woman's 13-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter were in the apartment on Oct. 2 when Coffman allegedly broke in, pointed a gun at their uncle and demanded to know where their grandfather was, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case. Their uncle told the children to go into their bedroom and shut the door behind them. Coffman forced the man to go into his room. The grandfather heard commotion, came to investigate, and saw Coffman standing inside his apartment holding a gun. He wrestled with Coffman for control of the gun and Coffman struck him on the top of the head with a firearm. The gun went off during the struggle. The uncle came out of his room and was able to get the gun away from Coffman. He pointed it at Coffman, who fled the apartment.

In court on Wednesday, Coffman's lawyer, Ashley Gulke, said Coffman's girlfriend called him in Oregon and told him she had been raped. The woman had gone to the hospital, covered in bruises, and reported the incident to police. However, Gulke said police decided it was a "he said-she said" and let the accused perpetrator go. No charges were filed against the man for the alleged sexual assault. Coffman flew back to North Dakota after the woman told him about the incident. Coffman is also dealing with another recent tragedy, the death of his 15-year-old son in another state, Gulke told Judge Gary Lee. Gulke said Coffman has a limited criminal history and no prior violent offenses and he has no intention of having contact with any of the alleged victims in the case.

Ward County Assistant State's Attorney Caitlyn Pierson said Coffman's bond is already shockingly low, given the gravity of the charges. Taking justice into one's own hands is not acceptable under the law or the Minot community, she said. Coffman is charged with Class B felony burglary and Class C felony terrorizing, Class C felony aggravated assault and Class C felony reckless endangerment.

The mother of the two children in the incident testified at the hearing that the whole family has been traumatized. Her children can't sleep and get into bed with her at night and they are afraid to go to school. Her father and her brother are both suffering from trauma. The woman said they go to work and come home and don't even go to the store. The woman said she is always afraid that something might have happened to her children and is extremely anxious. Her youngest daughter, a 10-year-old, wasn't there at the time but is traumatized by the aftermath of the incident.

Pierson said there was so much blood from the alleged victim's head wound that his family thought he had been shot and the apartment company wants to bring in a Hazmat team to clean up the blood in the apartment.

Lee said he will leave bond at $25,000. Even though people might sympathize with Coffman, Lee pointed out the crimes he is alleged to have committed are pretty horrific."I think Judge (Todd) Cresap's bond is appropriate," said Lee.