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  Comments (4) Total Friday Apr. 18, 2014
Felony Assault Charge Filed Against Red Lodge State Senator
Jason Priest accused of throwing his 4-year-old daughter
BILLINGS — Prosecutors filed a felony assault charge Wednesday against state Sen. Jason Priest of Red Lodge, accusing him of throwing his 4-year-old daughter on the night he allegedly shoved his estranged wife and struggled with a police officer.

The Montana Attorney General's Office filed the charge, along with a misdemeanor assault count accusing Priest of attacking his wife's boyfriend, the Billings Gazette reported.

Priest, 45, previously pleaded not guilty to charges of partner or family assault and resisting arrest. Carbon County prosecutors then turned the case over to the attorney general, saying they know Priest and wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The Attorney General's Office also filed charges of partner or family assault and resisting arrest against Priest Wednesday. It wasn't immediately clear if those charges supplant the previous counts.

No phone number could be found for Priest, who is free on bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 20.

If convicted of the felony count, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

Priest was arrested Feb. 1 at his Red Lodge home.

Charging documents state the boyfriend called Red Lodge police asking for help while he and Priest's wife picked up her children from Priest's home.

Officer Matt Grieshop said when he arrived, Priest and his wife were in a heated argument on the porch.

The woman told police Priest repeatedly pushed the 4-year-old girl back into the house, once grabbing her and throwing her, the documents state. Priest denied throwing the girl, saying he had picked her up and set her back down, according to the documents.

The woman said Priest grabbed her and tried to push her down the stairs, according to the charging documents.

The documents say Priest allegedly tackled the boyfriend and punched him. The officer said Priest ignored his commands to stop, and said he had to fight with Priest to handcuff him.

Priest, a Republican, was elected in 2010. He is chairman of the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee.
On 02-15-14, Grizzzz commented....
Sooner or later, every Bully gets his comeuppance.
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