January court date set for Jetton in felony assault case - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

January court date set for Jetton in felony assault case

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Rodney Jetton | Source: Cole County Sheriff's Department Rodney Jetton | Source: Cole County Sheriff's Department

By Heartland News

BENTON, MO (KFVS) - Former Republican Missouri House Speaker and Marble Hill native Rod Jetton is scheduled to appear in a Scott County courtroom on January 6 for arraignment in a felony assault case.

During that time, Jetton will answer to the charge that he assaulted a Sikeston woman in her home in mid-November, a claim disputed by Jetton's lawyer, Cape Girardeau attorney Stephen C. Wilson. 

Wilson issued a statement Monday that reads:  "Mr. Jetton was shocked and surprised when first advised of the allegation made against him. Now that a complaint is filed in court, Mr. Jetton's only comments are that he is not guilty, and will vigorously defend this allegation in court and not in the media."

On Tuesday, Wilson announced that Jetton, 42, will be closing Rod Jetton & Associates, his consulting firm, to deal with the allegations and to spend time with his family.

Wilson again called the allegations "false," and said Jetton is confident he will be found not guilty "when the facts of this case are heard."

According to Wilson, Jetton expects to finalize his business dealings by the end of 2009.

Jetton turned himself in to the Cole County Sheriff's Department at 11:52 p.m. Monday, according to the Scott County Sheriff's Department.  He posted $250, 10 percent of his bond, which was set at $2500.

Jetton is named in a complaint filed Monday in Scott County Circuit Court. In the complaint, prosecuting attorney Paul Boyd accuses Jetton of hitting the woman in the head and "choking her, resulting in unconsciousness and the loss of function of a part of her body."

A probable cause affidavit filed by Sikeston DPS officer Bethany McDermott cites the alleged victim as saying Jetton arrived at her home around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov.15, with two bottles of wine. According to the woman, she and Jetton had never met but had discussed having sex earlier that day over the phone.

The woman claims she began "fading" in and out and losing consciousness several times during the evening after drinking a glass of wine, poured into the glass for her by Jetton. She claims she did not actually see Jetton pour the wine because she was not with him when he did it.

According to the affidavit, the woman remembers Jetton hitting her on the face very hard, then waking up and lying on the floor with Jetton choking her. She then recalled waking up and having sex with Jetton in the bedroom, then waking up the next morning with Jetton in her bed.

The victim claims Jetton left her home and has not returned since.

While Jetton is not talking about the incident he did respond to a couple of messages sent to him through Facebook more than two weeks ago.

On November 18, a KFVS-12 producer wanted to ask Jetton about the allegations and asked Jetton if he'd call the newsroom and talk to our assignment manager to "clarify some rumors going around."

Jetton replied: "what are the 'rumors?' surely you can do better than that. Message me to call somebody else about something and not tell me what it is??" 

That same producer replied by saying the rumor has to do with Jetton and an alleged criminal matter, and again could he please call the newsroom.

Jetton replied "ok, thanks."

Heartland News didn't hear from him again until his lawyer issued the statement Monday night.

Jetton was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2000 and elected speaker of the Missouri House in 2005. He left the House after the 2008 session because of term limits and now works as a consultant for Rod Jetton & Associates.

Jetton has no previous criminal history.

©2009 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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