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Judge demands professionalism in courtroom

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A Polson man is facing what prosecutors say could be his fifth driving while under the influence conviction. Richard Sherm, 57, entered a plea of not guilty at District Court in Polson on July 28 to felony DUI and misdemeanor counts of failure to use a seat belt, disorderly conduct, driving with a revoked or suspended license, no proof of insurance, reckless driving and resisting arrest.

According to court records, on June 17, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Cade Thompson was about to end his shift when he heard tires spinning and a car run off the roadway and into a large boulder. The driver, identified as Sherm, “seemed to have no clue that he just crashed his car,” records state. 

He had a cut over his eye from the crash. When asked by Thompson “how are you doing?” Sherm replied, “groovy.” Thompson noticed Sherm grab onto his car to maintain his balance. When asked about the status of his driver’s license, Sherm replied it was “suspended as hell.” Sherm was brought to the Lake County jail where he became aggressive to the point he had to be placed in a restraint chair. He refused a breath test.

During the arraignment hearing, Judge James Manley ordered Sherm to go home and replace his shorts with long pants before proceeding, and the judge added: “It’s not a day at the beach.”

A trial date was set for Jan. 3, 2022.

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