A local man faces life in prison on charges alleging he stabbed another man Sunday in the stairwell of a west Casper apartment.
Prosecutors on Monday afternoon charged Jesse J. Beach, 36, with two counts of aggravated assault in relation to the alleged assault. Both charges also include enhancements alleging Beach is a habitual criminal. The enhancements mean that each count is punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, rather than 10 years.
In Natrona County Circuit Court on Monday, Beach told Judge Steven Brown the charges were overwrought and he had been acting in self-defense.
“My opinion is I think I’m getting a bad rap,” said Beach, dressed in the orange apparel of a Natrona County Detention Center inmate. “I was only defending myself.”
According to court documents filed in the case, police were called shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday to a west Casper apartment complex for reports of a man in a hallway with intestines hanging out of his side. Callers said the person responsible left the scene on a blue motorcycle.
A police officer was on the way to the scene when he spotted a blue motorcycle headed in the opposite direction, the documents state. The cop turned around near the intersection of Casper Mountain Road and College Drive and followed the motorcycle north on College Drive. Although the officer’s overhead lights and sirens were on, Beach didn’t stop the motorcycle until he’d gotten to 15th Street, the documents state.
When Beach turned right, the bike wobbled but did not fall. He stopped at the intersection of 15th and Durbin streets, the documents state.
Beach, whose clothes were covered in blood and who was not wearing shoes, began rambling and — after the police officer had read a Miranda warning — said he had been “accosted,” the documents state. He told the officer he had a knife in his backpack, the documents state.
Police did not find the knife there and it later turned up in a hole in the hallway wall, police said.
In an interview room, Beach told detectives that he was the victim in an altercation and had been assaulted on his way to a friend’s apartment, the documents state. He said he was intoxicated but did not stab the man. He went on to say that he has a right to self-defense, according to the documents.
In a series of interviews, neighbors told police Beach and the other man, Corey Coriddi, were arguing before Beach tackled Coriddi and stabbed him, the documents state. Beach left the scene on a motorcycle and a neighbor hid the knife nearby, the documents state the neighbors said.
One man said he stepped out into the hallway and saw the two men, who appeared to be wrestling in the stairwell at the end of the hall, the documents state. The neighbor saw Coriddi fall and heard him sigh, according to police.
Another person at the scene said Beach had followed Coriddi around the complex. The documents state she thought Coriddi was trying to avoid a fight, but Beach tackled and stabbed the other man.
A third person said she saw Beach shove Coriddi before the two men threw punches at one another, the documents state. She said Beach stabbed the man and then grabbed Coriddi’s exposed intestines, and Coriddi screamed, the documents state.
Monday in court, Beach appeared without an attorney among a crowd of newly arrested people numbering 30. Brown read the two charges, which fall under different subsections of the law and relate to allegations that Beach caused a person injury with a deadly weapon and threatened a person with a drawn deadly weapon.
After Brown read the charges, and Beach answered procedural and biographical questions, Assistant District Attorney Jared Holbrook asked the judge to set bond at a half-million dollars, cash only. The prosecutor cited the length of Beach’s criminal record and a prior assault, without describing either in detail, before making the request.
Beach then asked for a lower bond amount and claimed self-defense.
The judge soon asked Beach — wearing handcuffs and shackles — to talk to a lawyer before making statements in court. He then set bail for Beach at $500,000 but allowed him to hire a bail bond agent.
Although Holbrook did not spell out the details of Beach’s criminal history, electronic court records indicate a person of the same name was convicted in 2012 of assault against a corrections officer in Carbon County and in 2009 of burglary in Fremont County.
District Attorney Dan Itzen said by phone late Monday afternoon that Beach has also been convicted of receiving and concealing stolen property in Fremont County and robbery in Washington state.
Neither the court documents nor Holbrook’s statements indicated the medical condition or prognosis of the stabbed man. The documents did state that the man underwent surgery following the alleged attack and was not awake or able to speak to police when the documents were drafted.
Itzen said late Monday afternoon Coriddi’s condition was stable.