Written by Herald-News
The Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture held the third annual Brewfest, at the Stampede Grounds June 27. The annual features breweries and wineries from throughout Montana. (Photos by Stuart Conner)
Written by John Plestina
A man accused of incest and rape of a juvenile girl will spend at least a decade in Montana State Prison following a sentencing hearing in Wolf Point Monday, July 6.
Seventh Judicial District Judge Katherine Bidegaray of Sidney sentenced Timothy Earl Oglesby, 32, of Wolf Point to a 40-year commitment to Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge with 20 years suspended and a minimum of 10 years to serve before eligibility for parole. Oglesby must also complete phases I and II of sex offender treatment before he could become eligible for parole. He was given credit for 355 days served in the Roosevelt County Jail. The sentence followed state recommendations contained in a plea agreement.
Bidegaray was appointed to hear the case because 15th District Judge David Cybulski was disqualified in July 2014, after a defense motion for substitution of district judge.
A jury trial was averted when Oglesby signed a plea agreement in January. He appeared before Bidegaray by video conference and withdrew two previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of incest. A second charge of sexual intercourse without consent was dismissed. A conviction for incest carries a maximum life sentence.
Oglesby was charged following an investigation by the Wolf Point Police Department for incidents authorities said occurred during 2012 when the victim was 13 and 14 years old. She was 14 at the time the incident was reported, according to the charging documents.
While allegations of sexual assault at a south side residence were reported to the WPPD on Nov. 18, 2012, Oglesby was not taken into custody until summer 2014 because he left Wolf Point and was living in Hot Springs, Ark.
The charging documents allege that the victim told WPPD investigators that the incidents had been going on for a long time.
The female victim, now 16 years old, testified during the sentencing hearing that the sexual abuse began when she was about 10 years old. Living in Arkansas at the time, she reached out to a school counselor, but the allegations were dropped. She said the abuse continued.
She told the court her family moved to Williston, N.D., soon after, then to Brockton and finally to Wolf Point.
Several members of the victim’s family became choked up with tears when she answered hard questions from Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen that the sexual abuse continued in each place they moved to, that the frequency was about every other day, there was penetration and that condoms were not used.
She told of the aftermath of her reporting the abuse. She was removed from her home and placed in protective custody with Child and Family Services for almost a year, lodged in several foster homes and group homes.
Knudsen asked the victim what she felt would be an appropriate sentence. She responded that Ogelsby should be incarcerated for a minimum of 10 years to allow her enough time to recover from what she had been through and move on with her life without fearing that he would try to reenter her life.
She later said while testifying that incarceration would keep other potential victims safe. She also reiterated that she wants more than anything for Oglesby to be away from her.
Wolf Point Police Lt. Brian Erwin, who was in charge of the investigation, testified that a search warrant was executed at the home where the girl lived and evidence was collected that included a bed sheet and the girl’s clothing.
The victim was given a sexual assault examination at Northeast Montana Health Services - Poplar Campus hospital. The sexual assault exam kit was sent to the Montana Crime Lab for forensic analysis.
Erwin said he believes Ogelsby committed the assaults. He said Ogelsby denied guilt and said the girl had accused him of sexual abuse in the past.
Knudsen presented exhibits that were documented evidence from the crime lab that match Ogelsby’s DNA to items collected when the search warrant was executed.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Corey Reum testified that the RCSO has evidence from surveillance cameras of several county jail inmates sneaking out of their cells at a time when protocol was broken with cell doors not properly secured and a jailer sleeping on the job in June. Reum said they stole food from the kitchen and entered a property room where it is suspected that a cell phone, cigarettes and a lighter were taken.
Reum called Ogelsby the “ringleader” of several inmates involved.
“Every jail has a pecking order and Mr. Ogelsby might have been at the top of the pecking order,” Reum said.
The incident at the jail was later cited as a reason Ogelsby should not be allowed to earn his freedom soon and be trusted to attend sex offender therapy sessions while not incarcerated.
Probation officer Pam Heikens conducted the pre-sentence investigation and report. She testified that Ogelsby minimized his culpability and only acknowledged some of his actual responsibility.
Assistant Attorney General Ole Olson, the special prosecutor appointed for the case, told the court that sexual offenses committed by Ogelsby were more than he admitted to and that the victim needs at least 10 years to feel safe and get her life together.
“This is really a heinous case of incest,” Olson said.
Olson was provided through the Prosecution Services Bureau and served as a special deputy Roosevelt County attorney for the case.
A psychiatric professional who conducted a psych evaluation testified that Ogelsby was sexually abused as a child and that incidents that occurred early in his life could have influenced his behaviors as an adult. She also called him socially awkward.
Ogelsby was arrested in Arkansas on July 17, 2014, on a Montana district court warrant issued in Roosevelt County. RCSO deputies drove to Arkansas, picked him up and returned him to Wolf Point where he has been lodged in the county jail since Aug. 9, 2014.
Ogelsby declined to make a statement before Bidegaray pronounced sentence.
The Roosevelt County Commissioners approved a request by Knudsen for the Montana Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor on Dec. 30.
Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force discussed possibly funding drug training for local law enforcement officers during the monthly meeting Wednesday, July 1.
Members of the task force attended the Alcohol Summit in Bozeman in May.
One of the presenters was Boise, Idaho, police officer Jermaine Galloway who makes presentations to law enforcement and schools around the western states.
Galloway addressed alcohol and drugs in rural communities and physical, visual and verbal identifiers of drugged driving, and recognitions of symbols of the drug world.
Galloway, while addressing members of several Montana law enforcement agencies and representatives of DUI task forces from across the nation in Bozeman, warned of gimmicky alcohol promotions that appeal to young people, including inexpensive energy drinks spiked with 6 percent or more alcohol and easily available in some convenience stores, and low-cost alcohol variations that might be easily available to minors in some stores and on the Internet. He also talked about the availability of edible marijuana and people traveling to Colorado and returning with marijuana purchased legally in that state.
The task force will look into the possibility of bringing Galloway to Wolf Point.
“That [alcohol summit in Bozeman] was one of the best three days I’ve spent,” county commissioners Gary Macdonald said.
The county received $10,950 for the task force as funding allowed by House Bill 132 that Gov. Steve Bullock signed into law in April. It reallocates unspent special revenue funds from driver’s license reinstatement fees collected in counties that do not have task forces and distributing those monies on an equal basis to Roosevelt and the other counties that have task forces on July 1 of each year.
Macdonald said more funding is coming this year, but he did not know the amount. He initially anticipated about $18,000 for Roosevelt County, but that amount has shrunk because of an increase in the number of DUI task forces in Montana from 34 to 38. The increase is due to the passage of HB 132 and funding it created.
During the May 6 meeting, the task force discussed using part of the funding to establish one county-wide scholarship for a graduating high school senior in 2016. They also discussed establishing an essay or poster contest for junior high and younger students next year with first-, second- and third- place financial awards.
Several meetings to organize a DUI task force in Roosevelt County were held between late 2013 and April 2014 when the county commissioners approved a resolution that formally established the task force. The group that had been meeting as a steering committee comprised of elected officials, law enforcement and county residents, approved by-laws during its first official meeting Wednesday, May 7.
Macdonald chairs the task force. The other officers are: Wolf Point Police Chief Jeff Harada, vice chair; Mary Vine, who also serves as coordinator for the task force, secretary; and Kahlil Wehbe, treasurer.
Participation is sought by members of the public. For more information, contact Vine at the Health Department.
The DUI Task Force meets the first Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m., in the conference room at the Courthouse North Annex on Custer Street across from the courthouse, which houses the Roosevelt County Health Department and Wolf Point Senior Citizens’ Center. The public is welcome to attend the meetings.
Written by Herald-News
Author Joseph McGeshick of Billings, who is a former Wolf Point High School teacher, has just released his new book Howard’s Dream: The Story of Howard Wood and the Wood’s Powr-Grip Company through Wyota Publishing.
The public can meet McGeshick in Sherman Park, Thursday through Saturday during the Wolf Point Centennial/Wild Horse Stampede, Thursday through Saturday, July 9-11. McGeshick will be selling books and signing them.
The story traces the life of local inventor Howard Wood and his company, the Wood’s Powr-Grip Company, that started out in Wolf Point in the early 1960s. The book contains local history, early homesteading history in the area and pictures old and new. The company is now located in Laurel.
Written by John Plestina
“Buster” has been missing since June 14 from north of Wolf Point near mile post 15 on Montana Hwy. 13.
The act of stealing livestock is called duffing in Australia and rustling in Montana and throughout the American West. Whatever people want to call it, taking stock amounts to theft, and the recent suspected pilfering of a horse from a ranch a few miles north of Wolf Point is an example.
Roosevelt County Undersheriff John Summers told The Herald-News a horse that answers to “Buster” has been missing since June 14 from the area of Montana Hwy. 13 near mile post 15.
The eight-year-old male sorrel colored [chestnut coloring] gelding has white sox on both rear hoofs and a white hairline on the right front foot.
It is unbranded.
“He [owner] was yet to brand it,” Summers said.
“It’s worth at least $2,300,” he said.
“The family that owns the horse was away and found it missing when they returned. They searched with no luck,” Summers said.
The horse got out of its pen and was last seen on Hwy. 13 about 17 miles from Wolf Point after a
Scobey man tied the horse to a fence post and called 911. The horse was not there when an RCSO deputy arrived.
“We’re trying to do our best to find it. It’s a felony theft,” Summers said.
“For ranchers, it’s pretty serious if someone steals your cows or horses, or kills them,” he said.
Montana Department of Livestock enforcement officer Monte Simonsen contacted Summers during the last week of June about the missing horse.
Simonsen investigates thefts and abuse of livestock, and trespassing by livestock on grazing lands in several Hi-Line counties.
He said last week that there was no solid evidence of a theft.
“At this point in time it’s a horse disappearance. It isn’t a theft,” Simonsen said.
“It’s not a stolen horse as of yet, but it has tendencies to go toward a stolen horse,” he said.
“We’re looking for it and we have some ideas of where it went or where it might be,” Simonsen said.
“What we see is a lot of disappearance of cattle. You can’t really say they’ve been stolen. They may not be in the area where they are supposed to be,” he said.
Simonsen said there is a similar situation with a missing horse in Chinook.
As for modern-day rustling in Montana, he said, “We’ve had cattle stolen as much as a 1,000 head at a time.”
Simonsen described cattle and horses as social animals that might follow herds they don’t belong in just as humans follow other people.
“You have to put a human aspect on where the animal might be,” Simonsen said.