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SWAT arrests man with violent past near Ruch

A convicted sex offender with a violent history was arrested Thursday near Ruch with the help of a Jackson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

At about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, Joaquin Amadeus Cowart, 41, was arrested in the 1800 block of Upper Applegate Road on a string of warrants for failing to register as a sex offender, absconding from parole and failing to appear in court on pending domestic violence charges, according to a news release issued Thursday afternoon by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. More charges are pending.

SWAT also detained a second man, who was not named, on charges described as unrelated to Cowart that are still under investigation.

Cowart has a string of felony convictions in Jackson County Circuit Court for failing to report as a sex offender in a case that stems from a brutal October 2000 attack on a woman in the Ruch area, according to court records.

He reportedly killed the victim’s cat with his hands and buried it in a shallow grave, and the woman sustained dozens of stab wounds on her back and legs.

In 2001, Cowart pleaded no-contest to second-degree sexual abuse and second-degree assault in the attack.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but has the same legal consequences as a guilty plea.

Court records show Cowart had multiple felony convictions for failing to report as a sex offender in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009, and has a pending charge of felony fourth-degree assault and misdemeanor harassment and reckless endangering that stems from an alleged attack on a woman in March 2016.

Cowart remained held Friday in the Jackson County Jail without bail.