Ili pleads not guilty to all charges

Appearing at a pretrial conference Friday morning, Jesse Devon Ili, 21, the former Minot State University football player accused of attacking two Minot police officers in a traffic stop in August, entered a plea of “not guilty” to all six of his charges.

He is charged with three Class C felonies for aggravated assault, simple assault on a peace officer and preventing arrest or discharge of other duties. He also has misdemeanor charges for ingesting a controlled substance, refusing to halt, and possession of marijuana.

Ili was soft-spoken during the hearing, leaning forward toward his microphone in a courtroom on the third floor of the Ward County Courthouse in Minot to enter his pleas, and nicely dressed in a dress shirt, tie, and a jacket for the rainy morning.

Appearing beside prosecutor Rozanna Larson, the State’s Attorney for Ward County, was officer Charles Shane Johnson. He was the third police officer on the scene, coming, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint, as backup to officers Brandon Schmidt and Erik Laudenschlager, who made the traffic stop.

Other members of the Minot Police Department, including Chief Jason Olson, were seated in the audience of the courtroom.

After the pleas were entered, Ili’s defense attorney, Jesse Lange, of the Fargo-based Aaland Law Firm, asked the judge to consider allowing Ili to move back to Tulare, Calif., to move in with his mother.

“My client, after being charged, was kicked off the football team, out of school and is now basically living with a friend while this is going on,” Lange said.

“The state is adamantly opposed” to the suggestion, Larson said in response.

She said there could be many excuses for not showing up in court if he moves, especially with the upcoming winter weather. Those excuses could be weather cancellations, not being able to afford travel, and more.

Flint McColgan