Joseph Paul DeWise

Joseph Paul DeWise appears Monday via video in Gallatin County Justice Court.

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A Belgrade homicide suspect is facing a new charge accusing him of punching a Gallatin County Detention Center officer below the right eye.

Joseph Paul DeWise, 49, is charged with felony assault on a peace officer. Gallatin County Justice Court Judge Bryan Adams set his bail at $150,000 Monday to run consecutively with a $1 million bail from separate cases.

DeWise faces charges of felony deliberate homicide for the 2018 death of Lauren Walder DeWise and attempted homicide for the shooting of Ashley Van Hemert. He also faces a separate charge of felony tampering with evidence for accusations he called his daughter from jail against a court order.

DeWise has pleaded not guilty to the homicide and tampering charges.

On Saturday around 10 a.m., a detention center officer told a Gallatin County sheriff’s deputy that DeWise became irritated because nobody woke him up for medication, according to charging documents. The officer said DeWise then pushed him and punched him in the face.

The deputy said in charging documents that video shows DeWise pushing the officer. The officer then tries to push DeWise out of the doorway of the holding area before DeWise hits him in the face.

The deputy said the officer then takes DeWise down, and five detention center officers restrain him. DeWise is then taken to a separate part of the jail.

Asked why DeWise hit the officer in the face, DeWise told the deputy, “I felt threatened, it was just a reactionary thing, the guy came at me.”

DeWise is scheduled to stand trial for the homicide charges in December.

A jury trial for the tampering charge has not been scheduled because DeWise requested his attorneys in that case be replaced. Gallatin County District Judge John Brown, who is presiding over the tampering case, has said he would set a hearing for DeWise’s request.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.

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