Jesse Dalton

The trial for a West Plains man charged with seven felonies related to four incidents in West Plains has been set, according to court documents.

Jesse D. Dalton, 21, will face a jury Jan. 16, 2020, in Howell County before 37th Judicial District Associate Circuit Court Judge Donna Anthony. Court documents show Dalton was granted his request that Anthony preside over the trial.

Dalton is charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and possession of a controlled substance related to an April 25, 2018, incident during which Dalton allegedly fired into a vehicle in a residential neighborhood, continuing to fire as he drove away. At the time of the incident, Dalton was found to be in possession of a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

Charges from other alleged incidents will also be tried, including third-degree assault related to Dalton attacking another inmate while in the Howell County Jail in May 2018, second-degree drug trafficking and unlawful use of a weapon related to a traffic stop in October 2018, and receiving stolen property, escape or attempted escape from confinement and resisting arrest charges.

In November Dalton was arrested at a home on Harlin Drive, reportedly wearing a bulletproof vest and in possession of a 9-mm handgun after allegedly telling a witness he was going to have a shootout with police.   

Dalton has been in jail since that arrest, held without bail amid an outcry from concerned citizens to keep Dalton in custody in the interest of public safety and that of law enforcement officers.

Dalton was arrested on first-degree statutory rape and second-degree child molestation in early May 2018 related to an alleged incident that happened in February 2018, after a 5-year-old girl told her mother Dalton had held her down and sexually assaulted her while she was left alone with him.

Dalton’s trial on those charges will be held Dec. 4 in Texas County on a change of venue from Howell County before Judge John Beger.

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