Jonathan Geers, Minot, sentenced for misdemeanor menacing, criminal mischief
Jonathan Bailey Geers, 22, Minot, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in district court in Minot to reduced charges of Class A misdemeanor menacing and Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief for menacing a man and a woman with a gun at a northwest Minot residence on July 20, 2019.
According to statements made in court, Geers had gone to the residence to pick up a dog he shared with the woman and came into conflict with the pair. Geers reportedly pulled out a gun and held it to his own head and the other man tackled him to keep Geers from harming himself. The gun discharged into the ceiling while the other man was wrestling the gun away from Geers.
The victims of the incident were consulted and said via a phone call to the courtroom on Wednesday that they are in agreement with the sentence Geers will receive. According to the plea deal, the victims told prosecutors that “(Geers’) sentence is not only appropriate but is the sentence that they have wanted all along as they feel it is fair, just and will fully address their concerns about (his) conduct on the night in question.”
Under the terms of the plea deal with the state, Geers was sentenced to 360 days in jail, all suspended but 60 days, and two years of supervised probation. He will be required to report to the Ward County Jail on June 1 to begin serving his sentence.
Geers was also ordered to have no contact with the victim, to obtain a chemical dependency evaluation, and to pay court costs. Geers will not be allowed to drink alcohol during the two-year probationary period.
Geers had originally been charged with Class B felony burglary, two counts of Class C felony terrorizing, and one count of Class C felony reckless endangerment.
The prosecution had originally asserted that Geers broke into the residence while armed with a gun, physically assaulted the other man, terrorized the man and woman, and fired a gun inside the residence. Ward County Deputy State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz told Judge Richard Hagar that further investigation turned up additional facts. There was an agreement in force allowing Geers to go to the residence to take the dog that weekend but he did not have the right to confront the man and woman in the manner that he did. The criminal mischief charge is related to the gun discharging during the struggle.
Geers was evaluated in Jamestown at one point. The results of the evaluation were not released to the state but the defense attorney discussed them with prosecutors when they were arranging the plea agreement.
Judge Stacy Louser turned down the same plea deal earlier because she wanted assurances that the victims had been notified. Schwarz assured Judge Hagar that the victims had been notified. Hagar then called the victims from the courtroom and questioned them himself before agreeing to the plea deal. Schwarz also questioned the victims on Thursday to make sure they were in agreement. The victims now reside in another state.