Friday, December 2, 2011

Accused police assailant was on probation

Hailey man earlier charged with felony malicious injury to property


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

A Hailey man accused of assaulting police officers earlier this month in downtown Hailey was on probation at the time of the attacks for what court records describe as another crime committed in anger earlier this year.

Fifty-year-old Christopher T. Evans is currently facing two felony counts of battering police officers for allegedly punching Blaine County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Gelskey and Hailey Patrolman Manny Ornelas on the afternoon of Nov. 19 near the intersection of Main and Bullion streets. Police claim the attacks were unprovoked.

Evans is also charged with the misdemeanor crimes of resisting and obstructing officers and malicious injury to property. He remains incarcerated in the Blaine County jail on $100,000 bond awaiting further court proceedings.

In the earlier case, Evans was charged in February with felony malicious injury to property for breaking the rear window out of a vehicle owned by the building manager at a Hailey apartment complex where Evans lived. In a plea agreement with the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Evans pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor malicious injury to property.

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On March 28, Magistrate Court Judge R. Ted Israel sentenced Evans to 360 days in jail. The judge suspended the sentence and instead placed Evans on probation for two years.

According to court records, Evans was originally charged with a felony because the damage to the vehicle exceeded $1,000. Hailey police reported in February that Evans used a crowbar to break the window of the vehicle, a 2006 Suzuki, and also damaged the window frame. In a probable-cause affidavit, Hailey Patrolman Larry Clark reported that Valley Auto Body in Bellevue estimated total damage at $1,109.47.

A second probable-cause affidavit filed by Hailey Patrolman Kenneth McClure states that the crime occurred on Feb. 4 at the Summit II apartment complex on Carbonate Drive. McClure wrote that police were called to the complex because of the building manager's concerns about Evans' "acting out of the ordinary" and being "extremely paranoid." He reported that the broken window wasn't discovered until police were at the complex.

McClure wrote that Evans said he broke the car window because he was upset with the manager because she kept locking exterior doors to the building. McClure wrote that Evans wanted the doors to remain unlocked so that a boy who was living outside could get into the building to find his "dad or grandfather."

According to court records, Evans has a history of mental health problems.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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