ANACONDA - An Anaconda man who was shot and wounded by police in September of 2021 claims that his constitutional rights were violated.
Police, however, say that the man was armed and the officer was defending himself.
“They came into my house, they asked me to come out and talk to them. I went to come out and got shot. So I didn’t even have time to come out and talk, it was instantaneous, it was four-tenths of a second,” said Trevor Case.
Court documents state police were doing a welfare check on Case at his West Commercial Avenue home on Sept. 27, 2021, after an acquaintance said Case was making suicidal threats.
After waiting outside the home for over 40 minutes trying to get Case to talk to them, police entered the home searching for him. Police entered a bedroom and Case quickly slid open the curtain to a closet he was hiding in while holding a handgun. Police Sgt. Richard Pasha shot Case once with an AR-15.
Case’s attorney claims police violated his client’s Fourth Amendment right by entering his home without a warrant.
“If you can wait 45 minutes for officer safety, you can wait for a warrant and if you don’t have probable cause for a warrant you have no reason going in,” said Helena attorney Christopher Betchie, who is representing Case.
Case was treated for wounds to his arm and abdomen and then charged with assault on a peace officer. He was convicted after a jury trial in December and is awaiting sentencing.
Case stated he never intended to harm the police officers, "no, not at all, I’ve never threatened them, I’ve never threatened anybody."
Case is appealing his conviction.
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Attorney Ben Krakowka said police were correct in entering the home without a warrant to prevent Case from possibly harming himself.
“The defendant made a series of decisions. This decision placed law enforcement in an impossible situation. Law enforcement was in danger if they attempted to render aid or they were in danger of being sued if they did not,” Krakowka said in a written statement to MTN News.
Case said he’s still recovering from the trauma of being shot.
“It’s been horrific, it’s been … it’s been just a tragedy that should have never happened,” said Case.
Case faces up to 10 years in prison for his assault on a peace officer conviction.
A sentencing date has not been set as of Jan. 12.