UPDATE Aug. 5: Jason Ray is scheduled to change his plea from "not guilty" in Sublette County Circuit Court on Monday, Aug. 8, according to the latest docket provided by the court.
Breaking news: Following a lengthy executive session on Wednesday, July 27, the Sublette County Hospital District Board of Trustees passed a unanimous motion to rescind Jason Ray's new contract that was recently renewed by trustees at a special meeting on July 12 and to extend the current contract already in place 180 days.
Trustee Dave Bell made the motion to "rescind the contract of Jason Ray previously approved by the Board on June 22, 2022. Jason Ray’s current contract will be extended for 180 days. Legal counsel will draft a new employment contract for consideration and-or approval by the Board. Jason Ray’s administrative leave will continue for no less than 45 days, or until such time as the Board deems appropriate."
Trustee Wendy Boman seconded the motion.
Following the unanimous motion, Board Chairwoman Tonia Hoffman stated that because it was a personnel issue, the "district cannot discuss it further."
This is a developing story and the paper will continue to update you. Criminal charges can be dropped or reduced and Ray is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Sublette County – Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) Jason Lee Ray, of Boulder, is charged with three misdemeanor counts of battery and one count of reckless endangering stemming from an alleged July 9 altercation that resulted in bodily injury to a minor.
Ray has not yet entered a plea to any of the charges. Sublette County Circuit Court Judge Curt Haws issued a summons for Ray, who is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 1 at 11 a.m.
Ray has been with the Marbleton-Big Piney Clinic medical team since August 2016. Sublette County Hospital District (SCHD) Administrator Dave Doorn told the Examiner late Friday afternoon, that “Jason Ray has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.” Doorn added, “Obviously this is a matter we are treating very seriously” and noted, “Until the investigation is completed” the SCHD “will have no further comments.”
According to court documents filed by Sublette County Sheriff’s Office investigators with the court, Ray was hauling his boat back in to Pinedale from Fremont Lake driving his 2018 Ford F250 pickup truck at a low rate of speed, when a minor driving a 2001 Dodge 1500 pickup passed him on the left. The juvenile, identified only as RH, told law enforcement he estimated Ray was traveling between 5 and 10 miles per hour, and that he passed him on the left at 30 mph in third gear.
The minor then pulled onto the shoulder of the roadway at the intersection of Forest Service Road 111 and Fremont Lake Road 23-154 to give a friend traveling behind him time to catch up. Ray pulled in behind him and parked about a foot away, according to a minor witness later interviewed by law enforcement.
According to a statement Ray made to investigators, when he went to “confront the male driver about his unsafe driving behavior” the teenager “began to swing at him through the driver’s window.” Ray told the sheriff’s deputy that he opened the door to the minor’s pickup and began to pull him out of the vehicle, ripping his t-shirt in the process. As Ray removed RH from the pickup, RH’s foot came off the clutch, and the 2001 Dodge rolled backward into Ray’s F250.
Speaking to SCSO Deputy Todd Morgan, Ray said he told a witness who confronted him about the driver being younger than 18 years old, “I’ll f---ing punch you too if you want it, you know, like get the f--- out of my face.” Deputy Morgan wrote in his report that Ray stated he “was in f---ing kill mode” while dealing with the minor and the witness.
The alleged victim reported that Ray “grabbed his left inner arm between the bicep and forearm” trying to pull him out of the vehicle. He further told law enforcement that Ray “struck him with a closed fist on his left chin” and then again as his friend pulled up behind them. RH told the deputy that he “didn’t touch him (Jason Ray).” The witness told law enforcement he believed the teen driver was “in a state of shock prior to leaving the scene.”
A 15-year-old witness reported the entire ordeal to 9-1-1.
Criminal charges may be dropped or reduced, and Ray is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.