County refiles assault charges on inmate

Print Article

Brian Thomas Norvell arraignment, Monday, June 3, 2019. (Paul Sievers/The Western News)

A Lincoln County man was arraigned March 25 in Montana’s 19th Judicial District Court after the Lincoln County attorney’s office refiled charges related to an alleged assault on a county detention officer.

Jeffrey Zwang, deputy Lincoln County Attorney, said the Montana Supreme Court concluded that because Norvell was not brought before a judge without unnecessary delay while being on probation, due to an offense in another state, the district court was in error and should have dismissed the charges.

The Montana Supreme Court reversed the conviction and remanded it to dismiss without prejudice — which allows the state to refile charges, he said. The state has refiled those same charges and now will proceed with the case again.

According to a report from the case’s affidavit, Brian Thomas Norvell, while in jail, punched Lincoln County Detention Officer Travis Miller.

Lincoln County Deputy Brent Faulkner reported that, while he was processing a prisoner into detention, he heard a commotion and then a loud voice. Faulkner ran to see what was happening.

Upon arrival to the cell door, Miller’s mouth was bloody and there were small puddles of blood on the ground, he reported. Miller, while holding a taser in his hand, was standing over Norvell, who was belly down with his hands behind his head.

Miller’s taser was “trained on Norvell’s back,” he reported. The taser was not deployed.

Miller told Faulkner that after he pulled the taser out, Norvell stopped his attack and willingly dropped face-down, prone on the floor with his hands behind his back, according to the report.

Norvell had no visible injuries, he reported. His left knuckle looked redder than his right, due to banging on his cell door prior to the assault, according to the report.

The attack happened while Norvell was processing medications with Norvell. After the incident, officers secured Norvell in a restraint chair, Norvell did not resist, he reported.

Miller’s injury turned out to be far more serious than it looked, Faulkner reported. Upon returning from the hospital, Miller learned there was a laceration of the interior lower lip, where it attaches to the jaw.

Miller’s wife told Faulkner that her husband received three internal stitches and five external stitches, according to the report.

Faulkner reported camera footage from the jail clearly shows Norvell assaulting Miller with a right-handed punch.

Zwang said he refiled charges because of the “serious nature” of the case. Refiling the charges was the appropriate thing to do, he said.

Procedurally, the dismissal puts the county back at, essentially, the beginning of the case, he said. Norvell was arrested and then transported back up to Lincoln County.

The county will proceed with his charges like they would for any other case, Zwang said.

Print Article

Read More Front Page Slider

Libby infant doing well after receiving new heart

September 20, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Daily Inter Lake A baby boy from Libby has a new heart and is doing well. Asher Prosise-Dunham, the son of local residents Jack Prosise and Jetta Dunham, was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect. After he...


Read More

Chainsaw carving competition winners announced

September 20, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Daily Inter Lake The winners of the 2019 International Chainsaw Carving Championship have been announced. The Third Annual International Chainsaw Carving Competition, held in Libby, featured 22 of the best artists f...


Read More

30th Runnerfell held under sunny skies

September 20, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Daily Inter Lake The 30th Annual Runnerfell was held under bright, sunny skies with more than 200 youths from Libby racing to the finish line at the Libby Elementary School. Competitors received a Runnerfell T-shirt...


Read More

(No heading)

September 20, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Daily Inter Lake ...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2019 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy