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Libby man sentenced for officer assault

The Western News | June 28, 2022 7:00 AM

A Libby man was sentenced Monday in the 19th Judicial District Court for his role in an incident last summer when he assaulted a deputy with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Judge Matthew Cuff gave 40-year-old Jay Waylon Carver a 4-year deferred sentence. Carver pleaded guilty to an amended charge of criminal endangerment.

Charges of assault on a peace officer, obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest and negligent endangerment were dismissed.

The case began after Carver fought with sheriff’s deputies on Aug. 7, 2021, when they responded to reports of gunshots on Farm to Market Road.

According to court documents, Carver eventually told deputies that he was teaching his mother how to shoot, firing a weapon off of their back porch and into the ground near a metal fire pit surrounded by concrete bricks in a residential neighborhood on Farm to Market Road.

But when deputies arrived about 9:12 p.m., he emerged from the home and “immediately was aggravated,” court documents said.

When Deputy Ben Fisher asked for the gun, Carver said he didn’t have it and began walking toward the lawmen “in an aggressive manner,” according to an affidavit written by Deputy Derek Breiland. Breiland recalled Fisher getting Carver’s arms behind his back, but Carver — heavily intoxicated, according to court documents — began struggling with the deputy. As he tried to pull away, Breiland handcuffed him, court documents said.

Fisher left Carver in Breiland’s care while he interviewed the man’s mother. Carver grew increasingly agitated, Breiland wrote, and tried to break free. Eventually, Carver began screaming obscenities before asking Breiland if he wanted a “problem.” When Breiland assured him he did not want a problem, Carver said “we were going to have a problem and was threatening me,” the deputy recalled.

Carver tore free, according to court documents, cursing, yelling and demanding Breiland use the Taser on him. After initially trying to cross Farm to Market Road while in handcuffs, Carver returned to stand next to one of the patrol vehicles after Breiland pulled out his Taser.

Fisher, now back from speaking with the woman, began approaching Carver in the hopes of getting him into a vehicle, court documents said. But Carver allegedly lunged at him. Breiland wrote that he and Fisher got Carver pinned back against the patrol vehicle.

Ignoring instructions to get into the vehicle, Carver continued to struggle, kicking at Fisher’s knee, court documents said.

The deputies soon got assistance from Sgt. John Davis, who helped Breiland lift Carver into the vehicle. Carver, though, continued to kick at the lawmen. Davis first warned Carver and then used his Taser, court documents said. Breiland then placed a leg hobble on a still kicking Carver, court documents said.

After the hobble was placed on him, Carver used his head to prevent the deputies from closing the vehicle door, Breiland wrote in the affidavit. He continued to curse and yell, court documents said.

Taken to the Lincoln County Detention Center, Carver was placed in the restraint chair owing to his behavior at the scene, according to court documents.

Investigators later recovered the gun, which was not specified, and a spent casing. They also found about 12 empty 16-ounce beer cans and a partially full bottle of alcohol, court documents said.

Breiland was uninjured in the incident, but wrote that Fisher suffered from pain in his right shoulder and in one of his knees.