Missoula Weekly Crime Report: Jury Finds Man Guilty in Sex Abuse Trial
The Missoula County Attorney’s Office filed 12 new felony complaints this week, which is the lowest we have seen in the past three months. On Friday, Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings appeared on KGVO’s Talk Back show and he provided us with his report.
“There were three violent crimes,” Jennings said. “There were two endangerment crimes, and those usually involve driving behavior or alcohol and drugs causing some sort of danger to others. There were four property crimes, two drug crimes, and one administrative crime. One of those violent crimes was a family violence case and that was a strangulation. One was an assault with a weapon out at the secure tent shelters out by Mullan Road. Then there was one sex assault case that we charged this week.”
Trials in Missoula were put on hold for about a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and that created quite a backlog, but Jennings said they have been very busy since.
“There was an interesting and very important trial this week against a person named Wes Whitaker,” Jennings said. “One of the most experienced and talented prosecutors in our office took that case through to a conviction, which the jury just decided upon yesterday. There were three counts of sex crimes against Whitaker. He faces up to 300 years in prison if he is convicted and sentenced on all of those.”
Jennings said those types of cases, especially sex crimes involving minors, are a top priority in their office.