Man guilty on two counts in assault case

ESCANABA – A jury found an Escanaba man guilty on two counts of assaulting police officers last January. The convictions were announced after about eight hours of deliberation in Delta County Circuit Court on Friday.

Joshua Jacob Curtis, 33, assaulted an Escanaba Public Safety officer on Jan. 9 while the officer was investigating an incident at Bay College. Curtis had threatened to kill a student because he wouldn’t play pool with him.

Sgt. Jamie Silverstone was dispatched to the scene. While investigating the incident, the officer was assaulted by Curtis.

After being released from jail the following day, Curtis trashed his house. His wife called police who apprehended the subject after he used a knife with the intent to kill an officer whom he had threatened to kill two times the day before.

Following four days of testimony last week by victims, police, Curtis’ relatives, psychologists, three college students, and other witnesses, a jury weighed the evidence for eight hours, convicting the defendant on the two assault charges.

Curtis was found guilty of one count of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer, Sgt. Jamie Silverstone, during the Bay College incident. The charge carries a maximum sentencing of two years in prison.

Curtis was found guilty but mentally ill on one count of assault with intent to murder Lt. Rob LaMarche for the knife incident at the Curtis residence on Jan. 10.

When police arrived at the home to investigate a domestic dispute call, Curtis had locked himself in his medical marijuana “grow room.” When police entered the room, Curtis, armed with a knife, intended to harm LaMarche with the weapon he later claimed to be using to cut string for his pot plants.

The suspect was shocked him with an electronic current, was apprehended by officers, and then lodged in Delta County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 cash bond.

Curtis is scheduled to be sentenced in circuit court on Sept. 5. The original felony of assault with intent to murder carries a maximum sentencing of up to life in prison.