Stevensville man convicted of felony assault on police officer

2012-07-18T23:00:00Z Stevensville man convicted of felony assault on police officerBy LINDSEY GALIPEAU Ravalli Republic missoulian.com
July 18, 2012 11:00 pm  • 

STEVENSVILLE – A Stevensville man was convicted of felony assault on a peace officer Wednesday in Ravalli County District Court.

Jason Leo West, 22, was sentenced to three years deferred imposition with 15 days local jail time.

According to the affidavit filed in the case, officers responded to a physical disturbance in Stevensville on Dec. 4, 2011. Upon arrival, they found a male, Jamie West, packing a suitcase across the driveway of the residence.

When asked to stop and approach the officers, Jamie West allegedly walked toward the residence instead. He stopped behind the parked vehicles when individuals from inside the house came onto the porch.

Court records state that he was handcuffed after he stopped.

Jason West, who had exited the house, asked officers to explain why they’d handcuffed his brother, Jamie, according to the affidavit. After officers responded saying Jamie West was not under arrest, but being detained for an investigation, Jason West “became agitated,” the affidavit states.

According to court records, Jason West allegedly approached the officers to interfere and yelled profanities when they tried to detain him. West then clenched his fists “suggesting that he was prepared to fight,” the affidavit states.

Ravalli County Sheriff’s Deputy Tod Wofford told West he would be tased if he didn’t comply, according to court records. West continued his fighting stance until his fiancée allegedly stepped between him and the officers. Wofford asked her to move and, when she did not, he moved past her. Court records report Jason West swung his arm and hit Officer Chris Berthoud in the face.

Wofford had to tase and stun West twice before he could be handcuffed, according to the affidavit.

Court records report West had to be forced to enter the patrol car. West spoke with ambulance members on the scene and allegedly admitted to having four drinks, according to the affidavit.

In court Wednesday, Ravalli County District Court Judge Jeffrey Langton agreed to the three-year deferred sentenced with 15 days of jail time, as recommended in a plea agreement between the prosecution and defense. Langton told West he hoped not so see him back in court.

West was also ordered by the court to write apology letters to all of the officers involved.

Misdemeanor charges for obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest were dismissed.

Reach reporter Lindsey Galipeau at 363-3300 or at lindsey.galipeau@ravallirepublic.com.

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