Rolette man accused of murder allegedly hid weapon in jail
A Rolette man who is in jail awaiting trial on a murder charge is now accused of hiding a shank while in custody.
Ronald Wayne Wootan, 50, faces up to 10 years in prison if he’s convicted of the latest charge -- possession of a weapon in a correctional facility. He’s facing life without parole for allegedly fatally shooting James Pochant, 26, in July 2018.
A criminal complaint said Wootan fatally shot Pochant before officers were called to 605 Third Ave. in Rolette around 1 a.m. July 31. Deputies said Wootan was standing outside the home when they arrived. He allegedly refused to set his firearm down and threatened to kill people when he went back inside.
Wootan shot at officers and hit a SWAT vehicle, a news release said. Nearby homes were evacuated during the eight-hour standoff. Wootan was arrested when he allegedly ran from the house and officers detained him. No one was injured during the standoff, but Wootan is facing charges of attempted murder, terrorizing, reckless endangerment and preventing arrest.
A new charge was filed Thursday, Sept. 19, alleging Wootan had a “weapon assembled out of a razor blade and other parts” while he was in custody at the Rolette County Jail. He’s scheduled to appear in court Monday on the charge.
Wootan pleaded not guilty in December to all charges stemming back to July 31. His trial date has been pushed back to set aside time for a neuropsychological exam. The initial trial originally was slated for Tuesday, but it is now scheduled to stretch 10 days in February.