Woman denies robbery, drug and obstructing charges
A woman has denied robbing someone for property and prescription drugs and then lying to police about being raped in an effort to avoid being taken to jail.
Aerial LeHanne Watson, 25, appeared in 22nd Judicial District Court last Thursday and pleaded not guilty to felony charges of robbery, three counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer and criminal trespass.
As of Monday afternoon Watson remained in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility with bail set at $50,000.
Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde told Judge Blair Jones that Watson has pending drug charges in Yellowstone and Gallatin counties and requested that if she does post bail, she be required to wear a GPS and a drug patch for an “intense chemical dependency addiction.” Rohde had also requested bond be set at $75,000.
Defense attorney Greg Paskell requested Watson be released on her own recognizance and be ordered to wear a drug patch. Jones granted the GPS and drug patch conditions.
According to court documents, on Sept. 25, Watson allegedly was seen leaning into a vehicle parked at Fireman’s Point. When the owner of the vehicle confronted Watson, Watson allegedly attacked her by holding her hair, punching her in the face, pushing her to the ground and punching her in the face again. The woman’s husband pulled Watson off his wife. Taken from the vehicle were prescription pills, a digital camera, a phone and other items, according to court documents.
Later that day, Stillwater County Sheriff’s deputies were called to Countryman Creek Road when a resident reported Watson was walking down the road toward his home. The man had an order of protection against Watson. The responding deputy was told that Watson was the suspect of a robbery that had occurred earlier in the day.
The deputy found the stolen camera, cell phone and the prescription drugs in Watson’s possession, according to court documents. The pills included 52 Acetaminophen Hydrocodone Bitrate pills, four Clonazepam pills and 16 Alprazolam pills.
Watson was arrested and placed in the back of a patrol car and at one point was observed contorting the seatbelt and trying to hang herself, according to court documents. Watson told a deputy that she had been raped by the husband of the robbery victim and another man. She was taken by ambulance to the Stillwater Billings Clinic and when left alone with the medical staff, recanted her rape allegations, saying she had made up the story so she would not be taken to jail, according to court documents.