James Blue II, Minot, to go to trial on multiple felonies next year

A Minot man will go to trial early next year on charges that he terrorized his girlfriend on Jan. 16 and, the day afterwards, fired shots at the woman as she fled a trailer with her young son, fired shots in and around a trailer park, spat at multiple police officers and physically assaulted two paramedics.

Patrick Waters, the defense attorney for James Milton Blue II, said he will need at least two weeks to try the case, given the number of charges against his client and the number of witnesses the state is likely to present. Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney Caitlyn Pierson said jury selection could take longer than normal because the case has attracted so much media attention.

Judge Gary Lee said will have to rearrange his trial calendar and might have to bump pending civil trials that have been scheduled to later dates. He looked at his calendar on Wednesday and said he looked ahead to April 2018 and couldn’t find a two week block of time.

“We’ll make it work,” said Lee.

As Blue was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs following the hearing, he looked around at various people, muttering “F— you, f— you, f—- you, f—- you.” It was not clear why he was displeased or whom he was aiming the epithets at.

Blue has already been held in custody for 10 months.

Blue is charged with attempted murder, a Class A felony, for allegedly firing directly at his girlfriend as she ran from the trailer leading her young son on Jan. 17. He is also charged with terrorizing and five counts of reckless endangerment for reportedly brandishing a weapon and firing the gun inside the trailer with people present and two additional counts of reckless endangerment for reportedly firing in the direction of two Minot police officers outside the trailer. One of the officers returned fire and missed. The officer shooting was ruled justifiable.

Blue is charged with two counts of simple assault on emergency personnel for allegedly grabbing their arms while he was struggling inside the ambulance and three counts of spitting at police officers.

He is charged with prohibited possession of a firearm by a felon for the incidents on Jan. 16 and 17. All of those charges are Class C felonies. Each C felony carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is charged with terrorizing for the Jan. 16 incident, when he allegedly held a gun to his girlfriend’s head and threatened to shoot her through the head and spine in front of her child, and with interference with a telephone during an emergency call, for hitting the phone away from his girlfriend when she tried to call 911.

No one was injured during the incident on Jan. 16 or Jan. 17.

Blue is separately charged with aggravated assault for allegedly strangling his girlfriend on Dec. 8, 2016. Waters said that charge will be tried separately and will be scheduled after the first trial. He said he will need about two days for that trial.

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