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McCarty sentenced for March 2019 high-speed chase case

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A Missoula man has avoided a felony charge of criminal endangerment by accepting a plea agreement at District Court in Polson on Jan. 29.

Dakota McCarty, 28, was charged with felony criminal endangerment but pleaded guilty by way of a plea agreement to misdemeanor negligent endangerment for a high-speed pursuit through Charlo last March.

According to court records, on March 21, 2019, at 2:08 a.m., a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a vehicle traveling well below the posted speed limit on U. S. Highway 93 and followed it. 

After observing the vehicle weave within its lane, the deputy attempted to make a traffic stop, but the vehicle took off on back roads from St. Ignatius to Charlo. The pursuit continued through the town of Charlo at 78 mph. At one point, it appeared as if McCarty swerved toward an officer who was deploying spike strips. The pursuit ended when McCarty’s vehicle went off the road at Mink Lane.

Judge James Manley was unwilling to accept the plea agreement until after a brief sidebar meeting with prosecutor Ben Anciaux, with the Lake County Attorney’s Office, and McCarty’s attorney Toby Cook with the Public Defenders Office.

McCarty was ultimately sentenced for the misdemeanor to one year in jail with all but time served of 338 days suspended.


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