Written by Herald-News
(Editor’s Note: The following blotter is a partial list of activities involving the Wolf Point Police Department and Volunteer Fire Department between April 14 and 20. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
4:04 a.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on the 500 block of Custer Street and cited Tyler Lilley, 18, of Wolf Point, for carrying a concealed weapon, minor in possession of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia.
4:37 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 900 block of Fourth Avenue North for a report of a burglary with no forced entry and a reported loss valued under $1,000. The incident is under investigation.
6:02 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Main Street for a report of an unwanted male at a residence and arrested William Onstad, 53, of Wolf Point, on a warrant.
8:20 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 800 block of Fourth Avenue South for a report of an unwanted intoxicated person. Officers arrested Brian Weston, 37, of Wolf Point, on a warrant.
7:45 a.m., officers responded to Cenex West for a report that the store received a suspicious personal check valued under $1,000. The incident is under investigation.
11:57 a.m., officers responded to a residence on the 300 block of Fairweather Street for a report of vandalism with minor damage to a house valued under $1,000. The incident is under investigation.
11:58 a.m., officers responded to Albertson’s for a report of shoplifting valued under $1,000. Officers cited Nicole Small, 29, of Wolf Point, for theft.
12:14 p.m., officers responded to Albertson’s for a report of a person attempting to cash a stolen check. The individual left the store prior to police arrival. The check was written for less than $1,000. The incident is under investigation.
2:44 p.m., officers responded to the Swap Shop for a report of theft valued under $1,000. The property was later recovered. Officers cited Alex Kelsey, 27, of Wolf Point, for theft.
5:32 p.m., officers responded to the 800 block of West Ash Street for a report of an intoxicated male sleeping in the complainant’s yard. Officers arrested Pernell Begs His Own, 35, of Frazer, for public intoxication.
6:12 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 300 block of Custer Street for a report of an aggravated assault that involved a knife. Police reported that an adult male was stabbed in one of his legs and was transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services - Wolf Point Campus with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers arrested Thelma The Boy, 34, of Wolf Point.
11:01 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 800 block of First Avenue North for a report of a theft. Officers cited Crystal Warclub, 28, and Roberta Warclub, 32, both of Wolf Point and both for theft.
1:27 p.m., officers responded to Town Pump with a request to remove an unwanted person and arrested Larry Long, 40, of Frazer, on a warrant.
2:30 a.m., officers responded to Town Pump for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a reported loss valued under $1,000. The incident is under investigation.
3:53 a.m., officers responded to a residence on the 600 block of Seventh Avenue South for a report of an assault that occurred when the victim confronted two adult males attempting to steal from his car. The assailants left the scene prior to police arrival. Nothing was reported stolen. The incident is under investigation.
8 a.m., the animal control officer located a dog at large on the 800 block of Third Avenue North and cited the owner, Mary Many, 55, of Wolf Point.
6:39 p.m., officers responded to the China City Restaurant and arrested Nathan Dumont Jr., 46, of Wolf Point, for disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
7:29 p.m., officers responded to a report of a reckless driver on Third Avenue South near the underpass and conducted a traffic stop on the 200 block of Custer Street. Officers cited Donald Green, 60, of Wolf Point, for driving under the influence and reckless driving.
3:10 p.m., officers responded to the Swap Shop for a report of an intoxicated male causing a disturbance. Officers arrested Nathan Dumont Jr., 46, of Wolf Point, for disorderly conduct.
6:29 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 400 block of Custer Street for a report of child neglect and arrested Berneta Walking Eagle, 34, of Wolf Point.
11:44 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 300 block of Custer Street for a report of a disturbance. Officers arrested Cameron Walton, 21, of Wolf Point, on a warrant.
12:06 a.m., officers responded to Lucky Lil’s for a report of an assault and arrested Donatello Fisher, 28, and Evan Beston, 27, both of Wolf Point, for simple assault and criminal contempt.
6:02 a.m., firefighters responded to the old tribal courthouse on Seventh Avenue North for a fire in the brick building. Nine firefighters responded.
3:38 p.m., officers assisted Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice officers and the Montana Highway Patrol at a two-vehicle rollover accident on Rodeo Road. Wolf Point firefighters stood by at the scene and disconnected a battery in one of the vehicles as a precaution.
8:04 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Custer Street and arrested Henry Alexander, 43, a Wolf Point male, for domestic abuse.
10:24 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Custer Street for a report of a disturbance and arrested Dennis Martell Jr., 29, and Erica Runsabove, 29, both of Wolf Point, on arrest warrants.
8:23 a.m., officers located an open door at Paul’s Glass & Works on the 300 block of Blaine Street and investigated a forced entry with no reported loss. The investigation continues.
4:03 p.m., firefighters responded to a grass fire as a mutual aid call in McCone County on Montana Hwy. 528.
6:49 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Second Avenue South for a report of a person running with a case of beer that had been stolen from Town Pump. Officers cited Joshua Franke, 21, of Wolf Point male, for theft.
11:31 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Seventh Avenue North for a report of a person attempting to gain entry into a boarded-up house and arrested Lawanda Red Eagle, 43, of Wolf Point, for disorderly conduct.
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between April 14 and 20: checks of wellbeing, five; civil standby, five; domestic disturbance, two; public assistance, 15; motor vehicle accidents, four; removal of unwanted individuals, 24; animal complaints, three; medical assistance, four; alarm, three; assist other agency, six; unfounded report, 14; and driving complaints, six.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:24
Written by Herald-News
The Lower Missouri River Basin Advisory Council has completed a draft report of recommendations it will forward to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at the end of May.
Before the report is submitted, however, a series of meetings, including one in Wolf Point, will be conducted around the basin to allow the public to comment on the recommendations.
Comments will be considered by the council as the report is finalized.
The Montana Water Supply Initiative project began during the summer of 2013, when Basin Advisory Councils were established in the Clark Fork, Yellowstone, Upper Missouri and Lower Missouri river basins.
The councils conducted public scoping meetings in the fall, and winnowed issues raised by the public down to the most pressing to guide the work of recommendation development.
In January, the councils began the difficult process of finding solutions to water resource issues that exist now, and may arise in the future.
The final recommendations development reports adopted by each of the four Basin Advisory Councils will assist DNRC staff in preparation of a state water plan that will be presented to the 2015 Montana Legislature.
Draft recommendations crafted by the LMR BAC include: requesting legislative funding support for additional research on the state’s aquifers; urging accurate completion of the ongoing water rights adjudication process; investigating water resources such as new off-stream storage sites to help meet future demands for water; seeking funding partners for expanding and maintaining the network of streamflow gages in all the watersheds across the state; and encouraging measurement of water wherever it is used.
Public meetings will be held in Harlowton at the Kiwanis Youth Center Tuesday, April 29; in Lewistown at the Yogo Inn Wednesday, April 30; in Havre at the Great Northern Inn Tuesday, May 6; and in Wolf Point at the Elks Club Wednesday, May 7.
All meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last approximately two hours.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:22
Written by Herald-News
A federal grand jury in Great Falls recently indicted Scobey Baker, 37, of Wolf Point on charges of aggravated sexual abuse and kidnapping stemming from an incident that occurred nearly four years ago.
The charging documents allege that on or about July 30, 2010, Baker seized and confined the victim and engaged in a sexual act by using force against that person.
If convicted of the most serious charge in the indictment, Baker faces a maximum of life imprisonment and $250,000 in fines.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice conducted the investigation.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:21
Written by John Plestina
The Wolf Point School board voted unanimously Tuesday, April 8, to place two proposed tax levies on the May 5 ballot.
School district trustees and administrators said both levies are necessary.
A $200,000 continuous elementary general fund levy could be used to fund the preschool program. The district needs nearly $200,000 annually to retain the program. The preschool program is at risk of cuts if voters don’t approve the levy.
“Losing our preschool would be a huge blow to our community, to our kids,” board chairman Martin DeWitt said.
A one-year $250,000 levy would increase the building reserve and could fund a new gym floor and pave the high school parking lot.
DeWitt said there is a tremendous need for the parking lot because of safety reasons among large potholes and ice.
Superintendent Joe Paine said floor boards in the gym are sagging and potholes in the parking lot create safety concerns.
“If people vote it down, we’re not going to have either,” Janice Wemmer-Kegley said of the use of the gym and the preschool program.
She said basketball tournaments held in the gym are a huge benefit to the community.
Board member Ed Bach said cost figures need to be sent to property owners.
The cost to owners of homes with taxable market values of $100,000 would be $46.28 per year or $3.86 per month for the building reserve levy and $69.55 per year or $5.80 per month for the elementary general fund levy. If voters approve both levies, the cost to homeowners with assessed values of $100,000 would be $115.83 annually or $9.66 per month.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:40
Written by John Plestina
(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series exploring the 1979 murder of Poplar High School student Kim Nees and the controversy over whether a jury convicted the guilty person. A clemency hearing for Barry Beach is scheduled for April 29.)
Nearly 35 years have passed since the bludgeoned body of Poplar High School senior Kim Nees was found near the bank of the Poplar River. This week marks 30 years since the controversial conviction of the accused killer, a classmate of Nees.
Now, after three decades of legal wrangling, the Montana Board of Pardons and Paroles has scheduled a clemency hearing for Barry Beach in Deer Lodge Tuesday, April 29. If the board grants Beach’s clemency application, it would then be up to Gov. Steve Bullock to approve or deny the request.
Beach is not asking that the seven-member panel overturn his sentence; but rather to reduce the sentence, making him eligible for parole or for Bullock to commute his sentence. The board could make a decision during the hearing or take information under advisement for a decision at a later date.
Convicted by a jury of deliberate homicide in 17th District Court in Glasgow April 13, 1984, Judge James Sorte sentenced Beach May 11, 1984, to 100 years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole.
He had been charged with the murder of Nees in the 15th Judicial District at Wolf Point in September 1983.
Arrested Jan. 4, 1983, in Monroe, La., on a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Ouachita Parish detectives interrogated Beach about the abduction and murders of three young women in Louisiana. He was never charged with any felonies in Louisiana. According to reported information, a background check on Beach alerted detectives to him having been a suspect in the murder of Nees nearly four years earlier.
Beach, then 21, confessed to killing Nees in what has since been called a coursed confession.
He pleaded not guilty and has consistently maintained an assertion of innocence.
Several appeals were denied.
Beach appealed to the Montana Supreme Court which affirmed the conviction July 25, 1985.
In January 2008, 17th District Court at Wolf Point denied a petition for a new trial.
During December 2011, following a three-day evidentiary hearing, now-retired Fergus County District Court Judge E. Wayne Phillips granted Beach a new trial.
He was released on his own recognizance and was subsequently free for 17 months. He lived in Billings until the Montana Supreme Court reinstated the murder conviction with a 4-3 decision. On May 15, 2013, Beach surrendered himself to the custody of the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office.
Montana’s highest court considered Beach’s release after then attorney general and now governor Bullock appealed the lower court’s ruling.
Centurion Ministries, a Princeton, N.J., investigative agency with a mission to free wrongly-convicted people from prisons, accepted Beach’s case. That agency claims it has new evidence that implicates persons other than Beach in the murder.
Questions loom over whether Beach was wrongly accused and convicted.
New possible evidence includes a claim by a Great Falls couple that a woman who is from Poplar confessed to them on several occasions during 2005 and 2006 to being one of several teenage girls who beat a girl to death years ago. There are other reports of that woman and other women from Poplar telling others they were involved in Nees’ death.
The Herald-News will not identify any of those individuals at this time.
Fort Peck Department of Law and Justice officers found the body of Nees, 17, on the southeast edge of Poplar at 7 a.m., June 16, 1979. It is believed that she was beaten to death in her pickup truck after 1 a.m. and dragged to the site where the body was found near the river.
The Herald-News reported June 21, 1979, that Nees had been seen alive alone in her pickup six hours before she was found dead.
The body was found on tribal land but it was a state case because neither Nees nor Beach were tribal members. The FBI was involved in the investigation because the crime occurred on tribal land.
According to the autopsy report by a Great Falls pathologist, Nees died from multiple blunt force impact injuries to the head and neck including extensive skull fractures and lacerations of the brain. The report states that a crescent wrench and hammer could have been used.
The autopsy report also describes a rough sliding type abrasion with particles of dirt and a notation that two people had carried her body.
The controversial case has left local people with differing opinions about Beach’s guilt and has intrigued the media for three decades. Dateline NBC featured the case in 2008.
Supporters of Beach recently held a rally in Helena.
With the clemency hearing approaching, more than 200 people wrote letters to the parole board urging the panel to free Beach. Among them were Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., former senator Conrad Burns, former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Billings Mayor Tom Hanel and retired Supreme Court Justice James Nelson.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:38