Popular Billings radio show host Jason “Big J” Harris is denying a partner or family member assault charge and has been released from jail.
Harris, 35, was arraigned on a misdemeanor count of partner or family member assault in Billings Municipal Court on Monday, according to the Billings City Attorney’s Office.
He was then released from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility, where he'd been held since Saturday night.
Harris and a woman were arguing in his car before heading home after having dinner together Saturday night, according to charges. Officers noted both had bruising and swelling on their right cheeks and eyebrows.
Harris was arrested at Division Street and Second Avenue North.
While both parties told police they were punching and hitting each other, Harris said he was not afraid of the woman, while the woman said she was “terrified” of Harris, according to charges. The woman said she thought Harris would kill her if he had the opportunity, the charges state.
Officers determined Harris was the primary aggressor, based on the woman’s demeanor.
Police were first called by an out-of-state family member of the woman's, who said the woman was en route to the hospital and that a man named Jason had hit her in the face, according to city records. Another person later called in the incident as well.
Harris has been ordered to serve pretrial monitoring and to have no contact with the alleged victim, among other standard conditions. Bond was set at $500.
Harris is next scheduled to appear in Billings Municipal Court on April 23.
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The charge carries a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Harris was booked into the Yellowstone County Detention Facility at about 10:40 p.m. Saturday evening, according to Sgt. Randy Nagel of the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office.
He was held without bond until his court appearance Monday, which Deputy City Attorney Ben Halverson said is standard for domestic violence-type charges.
Defendants may not post bond until they are seen by a judge for certain charges, including partner or family member assault, Halverson said.
A post was published on "The Big J Show" Facebook page Sunday afternoon addressing questions about Harris' arrest, including numerous posts from individual Facebook accounts to the Big J Show Facebook page.
"We are aware of the rumors floating around Facebook today. While we don't have any details yet on what happened, we can confirm that it is Big J listed on the YCDF's website," the unsigned post states. "There will be no further comments at this time."
A comment from the Big J show account on that same post was made at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
"We understand a lot of people have opinions of this situation no matter where you stand, but any speculation will be removed," the post says. "Until the full story is told, we ask you not to publicly speculate the details of what happened. Thank you."