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Local man gets suspended jail sentence in assault against officer case

January 25, 2019

BELLE FOURCHE — A Belle Fourche man was sentenced Jan. 11 to serve 30 days in jail with 13 suspended, and credit for 17 already served in a possession of marijuana and simple assault against a law enforcement officer case.

According to court documents, Belle Fourche Police Officers Tony Garcia and Lance Patenode responded to a home on Summit Street in Belle Fourche just before 9 p.m. Nov. 8, 2018, in relation to an attempted suicide call.

When officers arrived at the residence, officers reported that Waylon Robert Jones, 37, was staggering when he stood up, slurring his speech, and his sentences were not making sense.

Jones’s mother called an ambulance because he had allegedly made comments about “taking too many pills.” However, Jones denied the claim and said he’d only taken two ibuprofen pills, and that he was not trying to kill himself.

During their visit to Jones’s home, which had no power at the time, officers reported that Jones made threatening statements about his roommate, including “slicing (his) throat.” While officers were at the home, Garcia reported that Jones was attempting to break into his roommate’s bedroom, which was locked shut with a padlock. When Patenode told Jones to stop attempting to make entrance into his roommate’s room, Jones complied and returned to the living room with officers. Garcia searched the home and found no signs of empty pill bottles but found a half-full bottle of Motrin PM.

Jones then reportedly became agitated and aggressive and hit his bedroom door with both fists and raised his voice to the officers. Because of Jones’s behavior, officers placed him in handcuffs to keep the ambulance crew, Jones’s mother, who’d since arrived to check on her son’s condition, and the officers safe. After initially resisting, Garcia reported that Jones complied after he applied a wristlock.

The officers transported Jones to the Belle Fourche Police Department where a search of Jones found a brown box in his pants pocket. When asked what the box was used for, Jones allegedly told officers that he stores marijuana, which he regularly uses.

Officers conducted a PBT (preliminary breath test) yielded a reading of .381 percent. A field test of Jones’s urine reportedly tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

When placed in a holding cell at the police department, Jones reportedly punched and kicked the walls of the cell. When the officers attempted to place Jones in handcuffs to prevent him from continuing to hurt himself, he resisted and allegedly continued aggressive behavior, causing a cut above his right eye. Garcia summoned an ambulance to tend to Jones’s injury.

While waiting for the ambulance, Garcia reported that Jones screamed at he and Patenode, at one point, threatening to slice Patenode’s throat and kill the officer’s family. Jones reportedly became immediately apologetic to the officers and told Patenode he did not mean what he said.

Chief Marlyn Pomrenke responded to the department to assist with Jones. Garcia reported that Pomrenke assisted in getting Jones to calm down and cooperate with officers. Patenode then transported Jones to the emergency room and later the Meade County Jail where Butte County offenders are commonly held.

On Nov. 16, Jones was charged with simple assault on law enforcement officer, a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to two years imprisonment in the state penitentiary and a fine of up to $4,000; possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year imprisonment in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,000; disorderly conduct, a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment in the county jail and a fine of up to $500; and possession of drug paraphernalia, also a Class 2 misdemeanor.

An amended complaint was then filed, charging Jones with threatening law enforcement officer or family without use of the mail, a Class 1 misdemeanor; possession of two ounces or less of marijuana, also a Class 1 misdemeanor; disorderly conduct, a Class 2 misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, also a Class 2 misdemeanor.

At his Dec. 7, 2018, arraignment, Jones pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Then, at his Jan. 11 change of plea hearing, Jones pleaded guilty to threatening law enforcement officer or family and possession of less than two ounces of marijuana.

Fourth Circuit Court Judge Chad Callahan sentenced Jones to spend 30 days in jail with 13 suspended and credit for 17 already served. Jones was ordered to pay $300 in fines and $173 in costs. Additionally, Jones was ordered to pay the Butte County Auditor for costs of incarceration and $421.50 worth of court-appointed attorney’s fees.

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