Two of three Hettinger County residents facing multiple felonies in connection with the alleged torture of a man made their first court appearance last week according to court documents.
By COLE BENZ
For The Pioneer
REEDER — Two of three Hettinger County residents facing multiple felonies in connection with the alleged torture of a man made their first court appearance last week according to court documents.
James Kibble, 55, and Gordon Lewis, 56, both of Reeder, made their initial court appearances in Southwest Judicial District Court on Feb. 15 but did not issue a plea.
A third defendant involved in the alleged crimes, Ross Thomas, was arrested at a later date.
Thomas, 59, was apprehended and transported Feb. 17 to the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Facility in Dickinson. He made his initial court appearance the same day.
Kibble, Lewis, and Thomas were charged with aggravated assault, terrorizing and felonious restraint, each a Class C felony.
It was stated in a criminal complaint that the three held a man at gunpoint and used a blowtorch, a wooden tire thumper, and a meat cleaver to inflict injuries on the victim.
Injuries sustained by the victim included multiple burns, bruises, lacerations, a forehead laceration that required stitches, a broken finger and an avulsed toenail, according to the complaint.
It was also alleged that the men discharged shots from a firearm towards the victim, as stated in the complaint.
The alleged crimes were reported to have occurred Feb. 7, according to court documents.
Records indicated that both Kibble and Lewis were booked into the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Facility on Feb. 13.
A preliminary hearing for Kibble and Lewis was scheduled for 10 a.m. March 2 in Mott. A preliminary hearing for Thomas was scheduled for April 6.
The Hettinger County Sheriff’s office directed questions to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Messages were left with the BCI and the Hettinger County State’s Attorney’s office, but were not immediately returned.
A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of $10,000, or both.