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Judge modifies one charge in jail assault case

Judge modifies one charge in jail assault case

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A judge on Tuesday modified one of seven charges against a Bismarck woman who allegedly possessed drugs in jail and is accused of injuring two correctional officers who attempted to search her.

The action reduces by five years the potential maximum sentence for Jessica Broom, 31, should she be convicted. She pleaded not guilty Tuesday and is scheduled for trial Feb. 20, 2020, on three felony drug charges, two felony assault charges, a felony for tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor drug ingestion count.

Broom resisted the officers as she was being searched on Sept. 21 at the Burleigh Morton Detention Center, authorities allege. One officer suffered a knee injury and a concussion, and the other sought medical attention for a strained back, the affidavit states.

Broom during the course of her search “took a defensive stance” and swung at an officer, Deputy Burleigh County Sheriff Taylor Wray said. The officer fell and suffered a knee injury and a concussion.

Defense attorney Kent Morrow said the swing Broom attempted did not connect or cause “serious bodily injury,” and he asked that the two assault charges against his client be dismissed.

Assistant Burleigh County State’s Attorney Tessa Vaagen said that if it hadn’t been for Broom’s actions, none of the injuries would have occurred, and that a concussion “generally fits that bill” of serious bodily injury.

“It may not have been intentional, but it was done recklessly and willfully,” she said.

South Central District Judge Pamela Nesvig agreed in part with each attorney and modified one assault charge against Broom from a B felony to a C felony.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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