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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

[MT] Officer Sauter's wife flees house with the children

 ...According to court filings, Sauter was drunk and argued with his wife late Friday. He then threatened to kill himself, and tried to open up a safe holding multiple guns... His wife tried to stop him, and she was bumped toward the wall during the struggle, court records state.  She then tore the electronic keypad off the safe to prevent if from being opened and left the house with her children...

[Suicide is one trigger-pull away from family murder.]



LAUREL OFFICER ARRESTED
Laurel Outlook
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 1:48 PM MDT
Laurel Police Officer Joel Sauter was arrested early Saturday morning at a Billings residence on the 4500 block of Phillip Street after a reported family disturbance. The Billings and Laurel police departments, the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, and the Billings SWAT and negotiators team responded. Law enforcement authorities said they responded to the home after a report of an assault on a woman at a residence. Police say no physical injuries were reported. Sauter reportedly came out of the house after about an hour and was arrested. The 36-year-old officer is a 12-year veteran of the Laurel Police Department. He was charged with partner/family member assault and taken to the Yellowstone County Jail. He appeared in Billings Municipal Court Monday morning and posted bail of $1,095 and was released from jail. Laurel Police Chief Rick Musson said Sauter has been placed on administrative leave with pay during an investigation into the charges. Chief Musson added that Sauter has been an exemplary employee and the Laurel Police Department is concentrating its efforts now on the welfare of Sauter and his family. An omnibus hearing is scheduled in Billings Municipal Court on April 6. [LINK]

LAUREL COP PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO ASSAULTING WIFE
Billings Gazette
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
A Laurel police officer has pleaded not guilty to a charge relating to a family disturbance that led to a standoff out-side his home early Saturday morning. Joel Kent Sauter, 36, appeared Monday before Billings Municipal Judge Mary Jane Knisely on a misdemeanor charge of partner or family member assault. According to court filings, Sauter was drunk and argued with his wife late Friday. He then threatened to kill himself, and tried to open up a safe holding multiple guns at the home at 4537 Phillip St. His wife tried to stop him, and she was bumped toward the wall during the struggle, court records state.  She then tore the electronic keypad off the safe to prevent if from being opened and left the house with her children. During the standoff that followed, Sauter spoke with members of the Billings and Laurel police departments and Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office. A SWAT team and negotiators also arrived before Sauter surrendered. Court records state that Sauter’s wife told police that she was very fearful he would kill her and her kids before taking his own life. He did not threaten her or her children with a weapon, the records state. No injuries were reported as a result of the disturbance and standoff, which lasted more than one hour. Sauter, a 12-year veteran of the Laurel Police Department, has been placed on administrative leave. He was released from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility after posting a bond of $1,059. A hearing in the case has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on April 6 in Municipal Court. [LINK]
Feel free to send updates.
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety montana]

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