Larry Kline Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Jurors on Wednesday were shown 90 photographs of the inside and outside of former service station owner Doug Heltne’s home, depicting overturned televisions and blood spattered on walls, floors, ceilings, doors and his pickup truck. One snapshot showed a bloody shoe print in the snow, while another showed a blood-soaked comforter on the man’s bed. A prosecutor also presented photographs depicting the man’s lacerations and bruises. But state District Judge David Rice ruled the 12-member jury, which is weighing a felony charge of aggravated assault filed against Heltne’s alleged attacker, 30-year-old JoVon Quinn Johnson of Box Elder, will not be shown an additional 65 photographs of evidence related to a felony count of sexual abuse of children a charge involving child pornography filed by the Hill County Attorney’s Office against Heltne. Special deputy county attorney Bernie Hubley showed the jury photos that included images of stacks of magazines, newspapers and books, along with a bathroom labeled as a dark room that held more than a dozen jugs of an unknown brown fluid. Rice said in a hearing, which jurors were excluded from, that photos defense attorney Jeremy Yellin wanted to present depicting some of the pornographic materials found by Havre police could not be included in Johnson’s trial. He rejected Yellin’s argument that those images relate to his presentation that Johnson was acting in self defense. The photos were sealed and placed in Johnson’s court file. Yellin said in his opening argument that Johnson was the victim of an unwanted sexual advance from Heltne, while Hubley presented evidence of the brutal assault. “You will know that JoVon Johnson was assaulted by Doug Heltne, and he acted in self defense,” he said. He said Heltne told police that Johnson asked him whether he was a priest who molested children. Heltne also told officers he thought Johnson “was sent by Jesus himself,” Yellin said.
Hubley said Johnson, whom Havre police found intoxicated and sleeping in the snow near Havre Middle School on Jan. 21, the morning of the attack, initially could not offer any explanation for the assault and later told police that Heltne “more than likely” touched him. Yellin told jurors that Heltne, after Johnson arrived at his home, put a pornographic movie in the VCR “and put theMoves on him.” Heltne was “bruised, literally, from head to toe,” Hubley said. Jurors listened to a recording of the 911 call Heltne made following the assault. Between pained, raspy breaths, Heltne said: “I just had a guy break into my house about a half hour ago and beat the hell out of me.” Heltne declined an offer for an ambulance, but the dispatcher sent one anyway. Police found Heltne covered in blood, Havre patrolman Derek Mahlum said. The former service station owner suffered two dislocated shoulders a case Northern Montana Hospital emergency physician Cameron Parham testified she’d never seen before a broken nose, facial lacerations and multiple bruises. Parham said she was shocked at Heltne’s appearance. She initially was concerned about possible brain injury or collapsed lungs, but a CAT scan eliminated those worries. She said Heltne “mostly just moaned” while staffers dealt with his injuries. He was sedated while his shoulder dislocations were treated. Parham said people who suffer shoulder dislocations often experience considerable pain and instability following treatment and can lose strength and range of motion. Jurors were shown photographs of Heltne’s injuries taken a few hours after the incident and pictures taken two days later. The first set of photos showed the man’s face, which was bruised and swollen. Emergency workers had stitched up multiple cuts. Later, purple and yellow bruises covered Heltne’s face, throat and other body parts. Havre police officer Randy Robinson showed jurors the bloody sweatshirt, T-shirt, jeans, socks and shoes that Johnson was wearing at the time of his arrest. The trial was expected to conclude today. Heltne’s trial is set for Oct. 30. When police arrived at the man’s home, they found hundreds of pornographic movies, magazines, books, photographs and slides depicting underage boys and girls, according to a court document. Also found were retail store ads with images of children in bathing suits and newspaper articles containing photographs of area teenage student athletes, the document said