NewsCrime and Courts


Belgrade man accused of threatening wife with a machete

Posted at 2:42 PM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 19:01:03-04
(MTN Photo)

BOZEMAN – A Belgrade man was arrested on Saturday after allegedly threatening his wife with a machete during an argument at their residence.

Robert Welles, 40, appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday on a felony charge of assault with a weapon.

According to court documents, around 8 p.m. Saturday a Belgrade Police officer responded to a report of domestic disturbance from a woman stating her daughter was being threatened with a machete by her husband.

The reporting officer said Welles was not at the residence when he arrived, and he transported Welles’ wife to the Belgrade Police Department to interview her.

The wife stated she and Welles were arguing about going to the hardware store and that Welles had been drinking throughout the day.

Welles then allegedly confronted his wife as she was lying in bed, yelling at her, pulling off the covers, and grabbing her by the leg. She said Welles released her leg when she refused to get out of the bed, left the bedroom, and returned several minutes later wielding a machete.

Welles approached his wife, according to the reporting officer, and again grabbed her by the leg with the machete raised. According to the officer, Welles’ wife said she was afraid he would cut her and that Welles was “not in his right mind.”

The wife said she then began to film Welles with her cell phone, prompting him to leave the bedroom and hide the machete in their garage, all of which she recorded as she followed him with her phone. Court documents state the video shows Welles placing the machete in the garage and attempting to grab his wife.

Welles allegedly took his wife’s phone from her as she went back into the bedroom and locked the door. He then reportedly kicked the door open and argued with her for several minutes before giving her back the phone. Court documents state she then locked herself in the bathroom and sent her mother a text that read, “911, 911, 911 he has a machete.”

Welles then reportedly left the residence and was later located by a Gallatin County deputy at a convenience store in Bozeman. He was detained until another officer arrived to read him his rights and interview him.

Court documents state Welles initially denied picking up the machete but changed his story when informed of the video that showed him holding it. The officer said Welles then claimed he had been using the machete for yard work and was still holding it when he went inside to use the bathroom.

The reporting officer stated that Welles caused his wife “reasonable apprehension of bodily injury with a weapon” and was placed under arrest.

In court Monday, Welles was released on the condition that he pays a $7,500 bond within 24 hours. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 19.