PINEDALE (WNE) – Certified physician assistant (PA-C) Jason Lee Ray changed his plea in Sublette County Circuit Court Monday from “not guilty” to “guilty” of battery resulting in bodily injury to a minor.
Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Curt Haws told Ray he is “a valued and valuable member of the community, but it appears (he has) an issue he needs to address” before stating he was pleased to see the terms of the plea deal include Ray agreeing to undergo an anger management evaluation.
Ray was sentenced to six months unsupervised probation and ordered to pay restitution to the minor victim, identified only by his initials R.H., for his medical expenses and damage done to his pickup.
According to court documents, Ray was traveling on the upper boat dock/ campground road hauling his boat after spending the day on Fremont Lake. He said he was driving slowly because of the potholes in the road when he was passed in the left lane by a 2001 white Dodge 1500 pickup truck in what Ray described as “an unsafe manner” and “at a high rate of speed.”
The juvenile driver of the pickup told law enforcement he estimated he passed Ray at 30 mph while driving in third gear.
According to court records, Ray told the investigator that when the pickup stopped at an intersection, he pulled in behind R.H., honked his horn and then approached the driver to confront him about his unsafe driving behavior.
Ray told the deputy that the juvenile began to swing at him through the driver’s window; the alleged victim and two witnesses told officers that Ray ripped off the teen’s shirt and struck him twice in the face.
The teen told law enforcement that Ray “struck him with a closed fist on his left chin and then again as his friend pulled up behind them. RH told the deputy that he “didn’t touch him (Jason Ray).”
According to court records, as Ray tried to remove R.H. from the vehicle, the teen’s foot came off the clutch, causing the 2001 Dodge to roll backward into Ray’s F250.