PHILIP W. RASMUSSEN, d/o/b 4-09-1960, of Branson, was found guilty of the class C felony of assault in the second degree by a Taney County jury, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. The five-man, seven-woman jury deliberated for one-hour before delivering the guilty verdict, in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Judge Laura Johnson scheduled formal sentencing in Rasmussen’s case for September 15, 2016. Taney County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Kondro tried the case for the State of Missouri.
Rasmussen was charged with assault in the first degree after he punched a man in the throat on July 23, 2014, outside the Good Shepherd Inn, on Highway 76, in Branson. The victim had been directed by motel managers to ask Rasmussen to leave the premises, and – when he advised Rasmussen he needed to leave – Rasmussen struck the victim, chased the victim a short distance, and threw him over a chain-link fence. The victim suffered a fractured trachea that required surgery.
Because Rasmussen did not testify in his own defense, the jury did not get to hear about Rasmussen’s criminal history – which includes a Kentucky conviction for first-degree manslaughter. Rasmussen was also on parole in Arkansas for battery at the time he committed this assault. The maximum penalty for assault in the second degree is normally seven (7) years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine. However, Rasmussen was charged by the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office as a prior and persistent felony offender, enhancing the maximum possible sentence to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.