Augusta kidnap accused released on bond
The Lincoln-area man accused of trying to kidnap a woman during the "Dynamite Dash" run in early July has been released on his own recognizance.
Cecil Hale is charged with trying to grab a female contestant while she was running in the half-marathon race.
Hale plead not guilty to the charge on Thursday, and Judge Kathy Seeley set Hale's bond at $20,000.
Prosecutors say the victim in the case is terrified at the prospect of Hale's release.
Hale's defense attorney told Judge Seeley that Hale is not a flight risk, has only one felony on his record, and could live with his brother in Helena.
Hale's defense attorney said there's no evidence to show a violent crime was contemplated in this case. The attorney says Hale was extremely drunk at the time.
Judge Seeley said while she didn't want to minimize the victim's fears, she granted the defense motion, with a long string of conditions, ordering the defendant to live in Helena, enroll in the 24/7 sobriety program, and prohibiting Hale from traveling to the Lincoln area.
Trial has been set for November 3rd.
Hale faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 if convicted
Campbell trial delayed
The trial of Joseph Campbell, the Augusta-area man accused of killing his neighbor Timothy Newman over a property dispute, has been delayed until next year.
The legal team for Joseph Campbell asked District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock for a continuance in the case, saying they needed more time to prepare for trial; the trial had originally been scheduled to begin in November.
The lawyers say there are 84 people listed as potential witnesses in the case and they need to review the evidence produced by a shooting reconstructionist and other experts .
Prosecutors say Campbell shot Newman in the back after they argued over a locked gate in October 2013; Campbell claimed Newman threatened him.
The two men had been engaged in a long-running dispute over access to public lands on the Diamond Bar X subdivision.
Judge Sherlock granted the motion and a trial date has been set for July 6th, 2015.
The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.
Campbell remains free on $300,000 bond.
Erwin pleads not guilty
A former employee of Taco Treat in Helena pleaded guilty on Thursday to burglarizing the business.
In a plea deal with prosecutors, 36-year-old David Allen Erwin admitted to burglary in February by forcing open a drive-thru window, stealing petty cash and rolled coins, and breaking open a Keno machine.
Erwin had been fired from Taco Treat a few months before the burglary.
Judge Kathy Seeley sentenced Erwin to 10 ten years with the Montana Department of Corrections, with five of the years suspended.
Erwin was also ordered to pay $5,800 in restitution.
A Helena man has pleaded not guilty to nearly a dozen felonies
.31 year old Brandon Rideout was arraigned in Judge James Reynolds' court, charged with forcing his way into a home on North Rodney in June.
Prosecutors say that Rideout and another suspect began beating four people with their with fists and a metal pole, knocking one victim unconscious.
Rideout is also accused of holding a knife to the throats of at least two of the victims and claiming that he was going to rape a female victim.
In all, Rideout faces eight counts of felony assault with a weapon, one count of felony robbery, and one count of aggravated burglary.
His bond was set at $100,000.
His jury trial has been scheduled for October 14th.
Meth lab arrest
A Glasgow man has been charged in connection with a one-pot meth lab in East Helena last year.
31 year old Robert Parke Sanders was booked into the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center yesterday morning on a warrant from 2013.
According to court documents,in early may 2013, a detective from the Missouri River Drug Task Force began an investigation after an empty bottle of drain cleaner, liquid fuel and a plastic bottle containing an unknown substance was reported in alley in the 300 block of E. Main in East Helena.
Video footage shows Sanders purchasing two types of drain cleaner at a local business.
Sanders is charged with one count of felony operation of an unlawful clandestine laboratory, which carries a maximum penalty of 50 years in the state prison, a fine of up to $100,000 or both.
The U.S. Marshals Service has issued a BOLO alert -- Be On the Look-Out -- for Richard Audley Liggett.
Liggett is 58 years old. He is 6-feet tall and weighs about 175 pounds, and has gray hair and blue eyes.
He was convicted... in Yellowstone County of assault with a weapon and in Missoula County for failing to register as a sex or violent offender.
Liggett is listed in state prison records as a parole absconder.
Liggett has also used the names Rick and Tommy Joe.
If you have information about Liggett call the U.S. Marshals Service at 406-247-7030 or your local law enforcement agency.
Reward offered for Crites info
The family of John Michael Crites, a Birdseye man who disappeared in 2011, is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.
Crites was reported missing in June 2011 and his remains were later discovered near MacDonald Pass.
Crites' sister Connie says the family is hoping that somebody who knows something about the case will come forward.
Crites had been involved in a series of disputes with neighbors in his area at the time of his disappearance.
Authorities have been investigating the death as a homicide but have not yet charged anyone.
Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 866 534-5541 or 406-443-2000.
Marijuana grower arrested
A Helena man has been arrested after sheriff's deputies and Helena Police officers found more than 20 marijuana plants growing in and around his residence in the 900 block of 9th Avenue.
Court documents say 30-year-old William Ross Burcar admitted he had been growing marijuana consistently since 2010.
Officers and deputies found 21 marijuana plants, almost 100 grams of marijuana buds a ventilation system, multiple smoking devices, two digital scales and plastic baggies.
Court doucuments say that Burcar admitted that he cares for his 1-year-old daughter at the residence during the daytime and the child's mother confirmed that with investigators, and that led to additional charges against him.
He is charged with one count of felony criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs, one count of felony possession of dangerous drugs, one count of felony criminal child endangerment and one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
War College to make final decision on Sen. Walsh
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The U.S. Army War College will have the final say over whether any punishment is warranted in a plagiarism investigation against Sen. John Walsh of Montana.
Spokeswoman Carol Kerr said Wednesday that the Department of Defense and U.S. Army inspectors general will be notified before the release of the findings, but the authority to take disciplinary action remains with the war college.
Provost Lance Betros previously said the Defense Department had asserted jurisdiction over the investigation because it involved a member of Congress, and the department would decide any sanctions.
The college asked for and received clarification about that jurisdiction after an Associated Press story reporting Betros' comments.
A New York Times story showed Walsh used others' work without attribution in a 2007 research paper.
The school's investigation begins Aug. 15.
An Helena teen has been arrested after authorities found 70 grams of marijuana in his vehicle after a traffic stop.
According to court documents, a Helena police officer stopped 18 year old Thomas Steven Wilson after he was clocked driving 48 mph in a 35 mph zone westbound on Custer. The officer saw a small red plastic bag in the car's cigarette compartment withlettering spelling "High" on the side of it, and Wilson said the bag had once held Molly, a form of ecstasy, but said the drugs belonged to a friend. There were no drugs in the bag.
Wilson's mother, the registered owner of the vehicle, was called to the scene, and gave consent to search the vehicle. The officer found a water smoking pipe, multiple small bags containing marijuana and a plastic container containing marijuana,
While the officer was speaking with Wilson's mother, the suspect attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was apprehended by another officer who was on scene as backup .
An unopened 12-ounce container of Coors Light, and other empty beer cans and bottles were found in the back of the vehicle, which police say Wilson admtted was his.
Wilson is charged with one count of felony criminal possession with intent to distribute, one count of misdemeanor possession of dangerous drugs, one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, one misdemeanor count of obstructing a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of underage possession of alcohol.
Workers Comp Judicial nominations announced
The Judicial Nomination Commission has sent the names of three attorneys to Gov. Steve Bullock for consideration as the next state workers compensation judge.
The Commission forwarded the names of William Dean Blackaby of Helena, Kay Lynn Lee of Kalispell and David Michael Sandler of Kalispell to Bullock.
The fourth applicant, William O. Bronson of Great Falls, withdrew his application.
Bullock now has 30 days to fill the job that opened up when Workers Compensation Judge Jim Shea resigned to accept appointment as a justice of the Montana Supreme Court. The governor must pick a judge from the list submitted by the commission.
The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation. If confirmed, the new judge will fill the remainder of Shea's term, which expires in September 2017 and is eligible for appointment to a full six-year term. The job pays $117,600 a year.
Haynes fire containted
The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says Haynes Fire is 100 percent contained,
The blaze burned around 17 acres on private land near the head of Turk Road since Friday.
With cooler temperatures over the weekend, and little wind, officials have begun releasing fire crews.
Around 25 people including the 20 member Lolo Hotshots, are griding the area, looking for hot spots, and
A single fire engine will remain on the scene to ensure the fire does not flare up again
2nd rape arrest
A second arrest has been made in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl that officials says occured earlier this month
County Attorney Leo Gallagher's office says 22 year old Throne G. Blackcrow repeatedly raped a 15-year-old girl who had run away from home on July 8 and was staying at a transient camp in Helena.
23 year old Jordan A. Crooked Foot has also been charged in connection with the rapes.
Lincoln man arrested
A Lincoln man has been arrested after prosecutors say he threatened a Lewis and Clark County deputy.
Court documents say 43-year-old Robert James Paris was very intoxicated and causing problems around 11:15 p.m. Saturday at Lambkin's Bar. He was arrested after deputies discovered he was on probation, and violating the terms of that probation by consuming alcohol.
While being transported to the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center, Paris began threatening the deputy, saying "I'll kick your ass when released" and "I know you live in Lincoln," the affidavit said.
Court filings say , based upon Paris' "actions, behaviors and criminal history, deputies believed the Defendant would carry out these threats.
Earthquake rocks Dillon area
A large earthquake in the Dillon area was reported at about 6:51 Monday morning.
The earthquake studies department at Montana Tech reports the magnitude was 3.6, the epi-centered about 10 miles north of Dillon and 46 miles south of Butte, and about 4.2 miles beneath the surface.
There have been no reports of structural damage to any buildings. Michael Stickney of Montana Tech said there were reports of the quake from Helena, as far east as Ennis and as far west as Salmon, Idaho."
Stickney said it is the largest earthquake in the area in nine years. That quake had a magnitude of 5.6.