Ili Trial Goes to Jury - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Ili Trial Goes to Jury

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The case against a former Minot State University football player accused of assaulting two police officers is now in the jury's hands.

Jesse Ili is accused of beating the head of a police officer against a metal pole, and punching and injuring a second officer.

The altercations happened after police responded to a report of men sitting in an SUV smoking marijuana.

In today's closing arguments, State's Attorney Roza Larson said all of the injuries and problems happened because Ili, sitting in the back seat of the SUV, was afraid that he'd be found with a bag of marijuana in his right pants pocket.

(Roza Larson, Ward County State's Attorney) "The only person that knew this was in his right pocket until the end of the day was the defendant. That was his intent. That was his motive for running. That was his motive for beating up Brandon and Erik, to get away from this."In his closing argument, defense attorney Andrew Schultz zeroed in on several seconds when the injuries to the first officer happened.

He said that the other officer claimed he was only 60 feet away when the first officer called for help.

And he maintained there wasn't time for Ili to have inflicted serious injury on the officer before his partner would have arrived to help.

Schultz read from the officer's testimony.

(Andrew Schultz, Attorney For Jesse Ili) "He found a way to get his hands free, grabbed me by my head and slammed my head into a post three or four times while I attempted several techniques to remove myself from that situation.  This included attempting to unholster my firearm.  Finally I lose consciousness but I come to, I'm still getting my head hit against the post, I tuck and I suppose I'm waiting for Officer Laudenschlager to arrive at this point.  In 60 feet."

The jury received the case late this morning.

Ili is facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the three separate Class C Felonies he's charged with.
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