3 Griz Players Charged with Felonies for Assaulting Olney Student

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Three University of Montana redshirt freshman football players have been charged with felonies in connection with an assault on campus in which another student suffered a broken jaw.

Police say the Sept. 19 assault was captured on a dormitory surveillance camera.

Andrew Douglass, 18, of San Clemente, Calif., was charged Tuesday with felony aggravated assault.

Charged with aiding and abetting an aggravated assault, also a felony, were Justin Montelius, who graduated this spring from Missoula’s Big Sky High School, and 18-year-old Cody von Appen of Kailua, Hawaii.

Von Appen’s father, Fred von Appen, was an assistant coach for the Grizzlies before retiring in 2003.

The three have received summonses, but have not appeared before a judge. The county attorney’s office didn’t know if any of them had attorneys.

The victim, Jesse Johnson, 18, of Olney, was knocked unconscious, suffered several cracked and chipped teeth and a broken jaw, which had to be wired shut, court records said.

University Vice President Jim Foley says all three freshmen have been placed on student-athlete probation by the university. Foley says the university may implement harsher punishment after an investigation.

“The University of Montana will continue to cooperate in any way possible,” Foley said. “It is now in the Missoula County court system and we will continue to monitor it.”

The charges are the latest in a series of legal troubles for UM football players.

Last November, three Griz players and a former player were among a group of people who broke into a rental home near campus. All three were suspended from the team and convicted in the home invasion.

And former UM football player Jimmy Wilson was arrested in 2007 on charges he shot his aunt’s boyfriend in California. Authorities there allege former teammate Qwenton Freeman witnessed the shooting. Wilson’s trial is scheduled to start next Monday in Lancaster, Calif.