Ohrt jailed

Randall Ohrt is charged with attempted murder, Second degree kidnapping, aggravated domestic battery and attempted strangulation for alleged abuse of his wife Joey Ohrt. 

A St. Maries man is being held on a $500,000 bond after allegedly beating and attempting to kill his wife.

The accused, Randall Ohrt, age 68, is charged with attempted murder, 2nd degree kidnapping, aggravated domestic battery and attempted strangulation for alleged abuse of wife Joey Ohrt, age 61. It is the third domestic battery case between Ohrt and his spouse, though prior cases were dismissed.

While police reports on the incident were not filed by press time, Deputy Brandon Vannatter testified to the events leading to the arrest at a probable cause hearing June 17.

Under oath, Deputy Vannatter said that on the weekend of June 15-16, he was on patrol near Alder Creek in Benewah County. He received a call from dispatch that a woman had stumbled out of the woods in the area, and that she had found her way to a resident’s house. The resident said that she appeared severely beaten.

Deputy Vannatter made contact with the woman, whom he identified as Joey Ohrt. He noted that she was covered in bruises, and had difficulty speaking. The deputy called for medical assistance, and she was taken by air ambulance to Kootenai Health.

The deputy interviewed Mrs. Ohrt the following day. She said that her husband had been held against her will and beaten by her husband over the course of 30 hours, beginning June 14. During that time, she said she was kicked, beaten, bitten and strangled by Ohrt, causing severe harm.

Charging documents also alleged that Mr. Ohrt also attempted to suffocate her using plastic bags stuffed into her mouth, as well as spraying hair spray into her face while knowing that she suffered from asthma. She also alleged her husband had held a gun to her head and pulled the trigger, saying the weapon “just clicked.” Charging documents described the action as “playing Russian Roulette with the intent to kill and murder Joey Ohrt, a human being.”

This incident is the third domestic battery case between Randall and Joey Ohrt. On two occasions, dated Jan. 9 and March 3 of 2018, Ohrt accused his wife of being abusive toward him, up to and including beating him, detaining him against his will and extorting money from him.

On both cases, Ohrt was found to have no physical evidence of abuse, while Mrs. Ohrt showed clear physical signs of injury.

According to the testimony, Ohrt took extreme action when contacted by deputies regarding the incident. Deputy Rodney Dickenson II attempted to make contact with Ohrt following the incident. Ohrt was attempting to leave his residence, and the deputy ordered him to exit his vehicle.

Deputy Dickenson said Ohrt had a knife on his person, and slit his wrist. He was taken by air ambulance to Kootenai Health for emergency treatment, and was arrested and returned to Benewah County the next day.

Ohrt has been ordered held in the Benewah County Jail. Judge Patrick McFadden, appearing telephonically, ordered that he be held on a $500,000 bond due to the severity of the alleged crimes. He also ordered no contact between Ohrt and the victim by any means.

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