A propane company supervisor recently was convicted of misdemeanor assault for attacking an employee who flipped him off last summer.
A jury convicted John Wilkinson, a supervisor for Ferrellgas, of fourth-degree assault last week after a one-day trial Stevens County, said Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.
Wilkinson was in the back lot at the Ferrellgas office on Aug. 26 when an employee "made a vulgar sign to him with his middle finger" and Wilkinson got out of his truck and confronted him, Rasmussen said in his weekly column.
The men argued, and the employee ended up with bruises on his neck that he said were caused by Wilkinson shoving him up against a wall and choking him. The fight was related to an incident two days earlier, Rasmussen said.
The jury deliberated about 45 minutes before convicting Wilkinson, who was represented by Peter Jones. Lech Radzimski prosecuted the case.
Past employees are expected to speak at Wilkinson's sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 5.
Rasmussen wrote about the trial in his weekly column. Read the entire column by clicking the link below.
By Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen:
There were two jury trials in District Court this past week. Each trial lasted just one day from jury selection to the deliverance of a verdict.
In the first, Mr. John Wilkinson, a supervisor for Ferrell Gas, was convicted of Assault in the Fourth Degree. The evidence was that on August 26, 2010, an employee was in the back lot at the FerrellGas office. When the defendant saw him, he made a vulgar sign to him with his middle finger. (This was related to an incident which had occurred two days earlier.) The defendant then got out of his truck and walked 20 feet to where the employee stood. There was a confrontation between the two men that involved hot words and some contact. At the conclusion of the incident, the victim had finger marks which became bruises on his neck. This was consistent with his claim that he had been shoved up against the wall and choked. Both the victim and the defendant testified about what had happened as well as another person who heard Mr. Wilkerson say something about it a short time later.
The jury deliberated for about 45 minutes prior to returning the verdict. Past employees that had worked under John Wilkinson sat throughout the trial and are expected to speak at his sentencing set for January 5, 2011. Lech Radzimski prosecuted the case and Peter Jones defended Mr. Wilkinson.
In the second jury trial last week, Mrs. Barbara Terry of Clayton was convicted on one count of Malicious Mischief and one count of Violation of a Civil Anti-harassment Protection Order.
In this case, the charges arose out of an incident where a dog was shot by n neighbor with an air pellet rifle. The jury heard evidence that there had been a valid Civil Anti-harassment Order in place to prohibit the neighbor from threatening to or shooting the dog. The jury heard from the owners of a golden Labrador about the present incident and heard evidence about the past problems. The jury also saw the x-ray of the dog with the pellet still lodged near the dog’s spine and even got to see the dog. The jury also heard conflicting testimony about whether the defendant later made statements to others about having shot the dog.
The jury deliberated for less than one hour and returned a verdict of Guilty on both counts. Sentencing is set for January 5, 2011 Angelle Punch represented the State in this case and Dee Hokum represented the defendant.