Wolf Point Herald

Benton Pleads Not Guilty To Charges

Jesse Steven Benton appeared in Montana 15th Judicial Court, Aug. 15.


Benton pleaded not guilty to the felony charges of assault on peace officer/judicial officer-bodily injury and the misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, partner/family member assault and escape.


According to charging documents, July 26, Wolf Point City Police Officer Mehsin Wehbe was dispatched to 512 Fairweather Street to investigate a report of a male assaulting a female in the alley. When Wehbe arrived at the scene, he made contact with a woman identified as Chelsea Simpson, who was crying.


Wehbe noticed a male in a vehicle and requested him to step out. The male, identified as Jesse Benton, said he and Simpson, who he identified as his girlfriend, were having an argument and screaming at each other.


A witness at the scene told the officer that he had heard the hits “landing” and had seen Benton strike Simpson in the face.


Another witness told Wehbe that they saw Benton push Simpson against the vehicle. Benton was arrested for partner/family member assault and transported to the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office. Before Benton was taken away, Simpson repeatedly shouted that Benton did not do anything.


At the sheriff’s office, detention officer Shane Austin started the booking process with Benton while Wehbe had gone out to the front of the facility. According to documents, Benton stood up, grabbed his wallet and ran out the back door and sally port. Austin chased after Benton while dispatch informed Wehbe that Benton had run out of the jail. Wehbe also gave chase.


Austin pursued Benton across the street, through the lawn of 111 Dawson Street. Benton attempted to climb over a fence between 107 and 111 Dawson until Austin grabbed him around the waist and attempted to pull him off the fence which resulted in the fence toppling down. Benton threw his elbow back and struck Austin under the right eye.


Benton tried to break Austin’s grip from around his waist and said,” Come on, man.” Austin did a leg sweep and was able to get Benton on the ground. Officers arrived to assist Austin while Benton resisted being handcuffed. He eventually gave up after being threatened with the use of a taser.


The officers escorted Benton back to the detention center. Benton continued to push back against Austin until the officer secured him inside the jail.


Defense attorney Frank Piocos motioned for a reduction of Benton’s bond to $10,000. Prosecutor Ralph Patch had no objection to the bond reduction.


Benton’s trial is scheduled for Oct. 17.