SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A man who deputies said attacked a woman and later shot a man who confronted him about the attacks entered a plea just before his scheduled trial today in Greene County.

Elija Ballard, 25, entered an Alford plea to multiple charges of domestic assault and first-degree assault and is to be sentenced Jan 12, court records show.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that evidence likely would lead to a conviction.

Court documents in the case state Ballard choked a woman he knew after getting into an argument with her on July 7, 2021.

She was able to break free by biting his arm, but then she was thrown against a wall, against a dresser and onto the floor next to the bed. Police said at the time her injuries were consistent with her story.

Ballard fled the home and got into a shooting with a relative of the woman who followed him and confronted him about the assault.

That man was shot at and the bullet grazed the side of his head, according to deputies who investigated the incident. The man was taken to a local hospital and recovered.