SUBLETTE COUNTY — The criminal case against Chett Logan Whitman, 25, was bound over to the 9th District Court last week after the Eden man waived his right to a probable cause hearing. Whitman’s preliminary hearing — where a judge determines if there’s sufficient evidence to bind a felony case to a higher court — was rescheduled from Aug. 24 to Sept. 19 “to give the defense more time,” according to court records. Friends of Meeks recently put out a call on social media for the public to attend the hearing, but Whitman’s attorney, Rives White, filed the waiver on Sept. 16, helping his client avoid such a confrontation.
Whitman is accused of brutally beating Chris Meeks, of Daniel, in the parking lot behind the Cowboy Bar in Pinedale on July 9. Meeks was found unconscious and life-flighted to an out-of-state trauma facility.
Whitman was charged with aggravated assault and battery after two witnesses told a sheriff’s deputy that he struck Meeks in the face at least three times, according to court records.
Pinedale Clinic attending physician Dr. Alice Jacobson told the deputy Meeks was in “critical condition” and sustained “extensive facial fractures,” including broken “orbits, bilateral maxillary sinuses, nasal bones and right zygoma,” resulting in the “need to be intubated … and transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center via fixed-wing aircraft.”
A fundraiser to cover the costs of his medical expenses is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 23 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Sublette County Fairgrounds.
As of press time, a date for Whitman’s arraignment in District Court has not been set. Whitman was released on a $50,000 surety bond.
Criminal charges are often dropped or reduced and Whitman is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.