Casper Police Identify Stabbing Suspect; Victim Required Surgery
The Casper man who was stabbed at an apartment building Sunday evening needed surgery due to the severity of his injuries, according to a police account of the investigation and arrest of a suspect.
Jesse Jewett Beach, 36, was charged with a single count of aggravated assault. However, because of his criminal record, the charge carries a 'habitual criminal' enhancement, meaning Beach could face a life sentence.
An update on the victim's condition was not available from Wyoming Medical Center on Monday.
Beach allegedly stabbed another man in the second-floor hallway of the Normandy Apartments, located at 2401 Grandview Place. According to an affidavit of probable cause, the victim's "intestines were hanging out of his side," and he may have suffered a head injury.
Per descriptions of the incident gathered by detectives during interviews with several witnesses and Beach, the stabbing was preceded by drinking and then a physical fight.
The victim, who is employed as a maintenance worker at the apartment building, worked until roughly 6 p.m. and then joined his girlfriend and several others who were hanging out and drinking Fleischmann's vodka near the entryway. Beach was among the group.
The victim had reportedly been engaged to a woman other than his current girlfriend. Beach had been to the apartment building that day to see the victim's ex-fiancee, according to witness accounts, though the two men were reportedly friends.
A witness reported Beach, while drinking with the group, became so intoxicated that he was unable to stand. He allegedly became belligerent and grew louder. The group dispersed after someone mentioned calling the police.
Beach and the victim reportedly argued in the parking lot of the building, according to a witness account, where Beach took a swing at the victim. The victim pushed Beach away before Beach could strike him.
The victim walked back into the apartment building. Beach reportedly grabbed something -- which witnesses believed was the knife he allegedly used in the stabbing -- from his backpack and followed the victim inside.
The victim went into his apartment, and Beach reportedly pushed a woman out of the way before he started banging on the victim's door. Beach and the victim were heard yelling in the hallway.
The men continued to argue, and Beach allegedly lunged at the victim, tackling him into a wall near a window. Beach reportedly had his hands around the victim's waist while the victim held Beach's upper body.
With his back against the wall, the victim reportedly cried out that he was being stabbed. At some point, a woman took a knife away from Beach and told her daughter to hide the knife from Beach. The girl hid the knife in a hole in the wall. She later told police the knife was red, with a handle 7-8" in length.
A woman tried to break up the fight, but the victim reportedly said he couldn't let go of Beach, or Beach would kill him. She told police that she saw the victim's exposed intestines, and that it appeared as though Beach was trying to eat the victim.
Two other men pulled Beach off of the victim, who remained on the ground holding his intestines, according to one witness. Beach then took off, reportedly on a blue motorcycle.
The incident was reported to police and the suspect was described as having left the scene on a blue motorcycle. An officer saw Beach on the bike and, after Beach wrecked the bike at 15th and Durbin, took him into custody.
Beach was allegedly intoxicated and angry during a police interview. Detectives believe that he and the victim had gotten into an argument two weeks prior.
Beach denied having stabbed the victim on Sunday, but allegedly told officers that if a stabbing took place, Beach had the right to defend himself.
One witness, also a maintenance worker at the Normandy Apartments, told police that Beach, the victim and a third man had jumped him on Feb. 3 due to an alleged infidelity. During the fight, the witness was reportedly stabbed in the right shoulder. Police noted a scar, though the witness said he had not reported that incident to law enforcement.
Police say Beach had previously been convicted of felonies including robbery and assault on a corrections officer.
Police say that a detective obtained a search warrant to take a blood sample from Beach -- a common method in determining whether a suspect is under the influence of a controlled substance -- but Beach physically resisted and prevented officers from obtaining a blood sample.