Three charged in jail assault
New charges have been filed against three inmates at the Cascade County Adult Detention Center in connection with an October assault at the jail.
Tyler Shane O’Brien, Logan Patrick Berkner and Roger Cantrell have been charged with a felony count of tampering with witnesses or informants, or in the alternative, a felony county of intimidation.
Both charges carry a maximum of 10 years in prison or a $50,000 fine, or both, if convicted, according to court documents.
According to court documents, around 1:30 a.m. Oct. 19, deputies were dispatched to the jail for a reported assault of an inmate.
A detention offices reported that at 6:49 p.m. Oct. 18, John Doe entered a cell while O’Brien and Berkner were in it. A few minutes later, the window of the cell was covered and a few minutes after that, Cantrell entered the cell, according to court documents.
At 7 p.m. Berkner and O’Brien exit the cell, but O’Brien returns a few minutes later, then exits again, shaking and looking at his right hand, according to court documents. A few minutes later, Cantrell also exits the cell.
Berkner, O’Brien and Cantrell enter another cell, then the victim exits the initial cell then enters the cell where the other three were with a noticeably swollen left eye. At 7:12 p.m., Berkner, O’Brien and Cantrell exit the second cell, according to court documents.
A deputy had detention staff transport all four inmates to an interview room separately.
Cantrell, O’Brien and Berkner refused to speak to the deputy, according to court documents.
O’Brien’s knuckles appeared to be somewhat swollen and red; Berkner didn’t appear to have any damage to his knuckles; and Cantrell had what looked to be a fresh laceration above the middle knuckle on his right hand, according to court documents.
Detention staff brought the victim to the interview room last. He told the deputy that paperwork from one of his cases had been passed under the door into the cell block. After the paperwork was passed, the victim told the deputy that three inmates had jumped him.
The victim told the deputy that he believed the assault was due to the case from August and that there was a rumor the victim was going to wear a wire and be a “snitch.” He told the deputy he believed the assault was aimed to stop him from testifying, wearing a wire, or being a “snitch,” according to court documents.
Cantrell has been implicated in prior jail assaults either directly or by directing others to harm other inmates who are charged with sex crimes or accused of being “snitches,” according to court documents.
He has a pending tampering charge for directing another not to testify against him during a recorded call from the jail.
O’Brien is in custody awaiting trial on drug charges. He’s also subject to a fugitive warrant for felony theft in Washington state and is awaiting extradition on that charge, according to court documents.
Berkner is in custody awaiting trial on a felony charge of theft of an automobile and fled from police when they tried to stop him in the stolen car. He has an active no bond warrant for a felony escape charge in Powell County. He escaped from the Billings Pre-Release Center and has prior felony convictions in Yellowstone County for theft, possession of dangerous drugs, burglary and accountability for theft.
Cantrell is in custody awaiting trial on failure to register as a violent offender, assault with a weapon, criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, and a separate tampering with a witness charge.
He is required to register for a prior assault with a weapon and “has a serious violent history and history of tampering with witnesses,” according to court documents.
Prosecutors asked for $100,000 bond consecutive to any other bond “due to the risk to the victim and society” if the defendants are released for all three, according to court documents.