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Lake County District Court news for March 20, 2013

Judge C. B. McNeil dealt with he following cases March 13:

Micah John Ashby, 34, Polson, in a change of plea, admitted to the amended offense of criminal endangerment, a felony, and partner or family member assault, a misdemeanor. Ashby was found guilty, and sentencing was set for April 17. Ashby’s SCRAM bracelet was removed.

According to court documents, charges stem from a June 2012 incident where Ashby allegedly choked a woman until she lost consciousness and then choked his ex-girlfriend. Ashby told investigators he got in an argument with the two women and his ex’s friend said something that made him “pop.” He didn’t remember the whole incident but said he did remember strangling the first woman.

Micheal Lee Brown, 27, Arlee, had a suspended sentence revoked for probation violations and was sentenced to the Department of Corrections for nine years, with four and a half years suspended, for criminal endangerment, a felony, and for nine years with four and a half years suspended for assault with a weapon. The sentences are to run concurrently. Brown will receive credit for time served in boot camp and in the Lake County Jail.

Tiffany Ortega, 27, Polson, in a change of plea, admitted committing the amended offense of criminal endangerment, a felony. She was found guilty, and sentencing was set for April 17 at 9 a.m.

Ronald Jay Goodsell, 32, Charlo, in a change of plea, admitted to failure to give notice of change of address by a sexual or violent offender, a felony. He was found guilty, and sentencing was set for April 17.

According to court documents, Goodsell is a Tier 3 sex offender required to register with the state. He allegedly changed his residence in Lake County and failed to give notice to the registration agency within three days. On July 31, a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy tried to locate Goodsell to verify his compliance with the sexual and violent offenders registry. At Goodsell’s registered address, the property owner told the officer that Goodsell had moved on July 21. He had not informed his probation officer of the move. 

Robert Sherman, 56, Polson, pleaded not guilty to the charge of persons required to register, a felony. An omnibus hearing was set for May 29, with a jury trial set to begin July 29. Both begin at 9 a.m.

According to court documents, the charge stems from a Jan. 24 incident where an agent of the U.S. Department of Justice contacted the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to report that Sherman was in violation of the offenders’ registration requirement. According to court records, Sherman is a sexual offender whose last registered address was in Flathead County. 

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies contacted a Polson resident, with whom Sherman was living. The resident informed deputies Sherman has registered, but he had not. When deputies talked to Sherman, he admitted he needed to register in Lake County and believed he had done that by changing his address with the post office. When questioned, Sherman said he had been registering “for a while.” 

Deputies found several registration forms previously filled out by Sherman, which detailed the proper procedure for registering as an offender. 

Thurston James, 46, Polson, pleaded not guilty to burglary, a felony, criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, and partner or family member assault, a misdemeanor. An omnibus hearing was set for May 29 with a jury trial set to begin July 29. Both begin at 9 a.m.

According to court documents, the charges stem from a Feb. 14 incident when a person called 911 and the phone line remained open.

A Polson police officer answered the call and talked to a victim, who allegedly had been assaulted by James on Feb. 13. The victim told the officer she came home from work and found James in her house. When the victim asked what he was doing, James said “laundry” and asked where his work shirt was. When the victim did not know, James became angry, kicked and broke a television, threatened the victim and flicked the victim on the cheek before departing. The victim dialed 911 and put the phone where James could not see it, since the victim was afraid James would commit assault as he had the night before.

Michael Sanford, 33, Polson, was sentenced to the Department of Corrections for four years, two suspended, for criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony.

According to court documents, the charge stems from an August 2012 incident where a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper stopped a vehicle in which Sanford was a passenger. The driver was arrested on an unrelated charge, and Sanford consented to a search of his backpack. The officer found an M&M canister in Sanford’s backpack containing 20 tablets of acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate, each marked with the imprint “Watson 385.” Based on his training, experience and research, the officer believed the pills were dangerous drugs. Sanford did not have a prescription for the pills, nor did his probation officer, and it is a condition of his probation that he must provide his probation officer with copies of his prescriptions.

Jeremy Amaya had his suspended sentence for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fourth or subsequent offense, a felony, revoked and was sentenced to Montana State Prison for 15 years, 10 suspended. Amaya will receive credit for all time served while in custody as well as one year’s probation.

Marcus Hendrickson, 24, Hot Springs, was sentenced to the Lake County Jail for six months, all suspended, for criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a misdemeanor, and for six months, all suspended, on a second count of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a misdemeanor. 

According to court documents, the charge stems from an August 2012 incident where a Montana Highway Patrol trooper made a traffic stop of Hendrickson and found an oxycodone pill in his vehicle. Hendrickson admitted he had never been prescribed oxycodone.

 

Judge Deborah Kim Christopher dealt with the following cases March 14:

Brandon Ferguson, 19, Polson, pleaded not guilty to five counts of improper influence in official and political matters, all felonies, and assault with bodily fluid, a misdemeanor. An omnibus hearing was set for April 25 with a jury trial to begin June 10. Both begin at 9 a.m.

According to court documents, the charges stem from a Jan. 23 incident when Polson Police officers responded to a call of an intoxicated male. Ferguson allegedly walked toward an officer, yelling, and refused to comply with the officer’s order to get to the ground, instead raising his fists. The officer discharged his taser, and another officer handcuffed Ferguson. Because Ferguson has been tased, the officers called an ambulance. A paramedic arrived with the ambulance and began removing the taser probes from Ferguson’s skin and, Ferguson allegedly spit in the paramedic’s face.

Two officers began moving Ferguson to a patrol car, and Ferguson allegedly spit on one of the officers several times and threatened to cut the other’s throat and “watch him bleed out.” At the Lake County Jail, three detention officers escorted Ferguson to a solitary cell to remove his handcuffs and dress him in jail clothing. As the officers attempted this, Ferguson made threats to kill all of the officers and threatened to hunt down the officers’ families.

Daryl R. Gebeau, 56, Arlee, was sentenced to the Department of Corrections for 13 months plus two years suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a felony. 

According to court documents, charges stem from a May 2012 incident where Gebeau failed to stop at a stop sign in Arlee and was pulled over. The officer noted an alcoholic odor and an open container of beer. Gebeau told the officer he had been drinking that morning and had about a six-pack. A breath sample showed he had a blood alcohol concentration of .315 percent. He later stated that he had consumed a liter of whiskey and shared a 30-pack of beer with two other people, and then said he had a “fifth” of whisky and six beers. His driving record showed at least three prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Lawrance James Stevens, 33, St. Ignatius, pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a felony. An omnibus hearing was set for May 23 with a jury trial to begin July 8. Both begin at 9 a.m.

According to court documents, the charge stems from a Feb. 12 incident where a driver near Division Street and U.S. Highway 93 in Pablo called dispatch to report a possible drunk driver in a black car and gave the license number. A Flathead Police officer responded and observed a black vehicle near Clairmont Road driving in the middle of the driving lane and passing lane. As the officer watched, the vehicle drifted back and forth from the fog line to the center lane. 

When the officer initiated a traffic stop and approached the vehicle, Stevens allegedly was attempting to put a bottle of Black Velvet and a can of beer into the car’s center console. The officer could smell the strong odor of alcohol coming from Stevens’ breath and noted Stevens’ speech was slow and slurred and his eyes were red and glossy. 

Stevens did not want to perform field sobriety tests or give a preliminary breath sample and asked the officer to take him to jail. 

At the Lake County Jail, Stevens returned a result of a blood alcohol concentration of .267 percent. Stevens’ driving record showed three previous DUI convictions. 

Ricky Dennison, 49, Charlo, pleaded not guilty to partner or family member assault, a felony, and partner or family member assault, a misdemeanor. An omnibus hearing is scheduled for May 23 with a jury trial to begin July 8. Both begin at 9 a.m.

According to court documents, charges stem from a Feb. 17 incident when a victim called 911 and requested an officer. Dennison allegedly had asked the victim to pick something up and got upset when the victim asked him to hold on for a moment. The victim’s mother stood between Dennison and the victim, while the victim told Dennison not to touch him. Dennison allegedly pushed the mother aside and touched the victim on the shoulder and head before leaving the residence.

Jason Thompson, 25, Polson, received a deferred imposition of sentence for three years for theft, a felony. According to terms of the plea agreement, Thompson will make restitution to the victims in the amount of $1,590.84 and will be on probation.

According to court documents, the charge stems from an October 2012 incident where Thompson used his parents’ debit cards and a credit card without permission and charged a total of $1,590.84 to the cards. Thompson admitted to the theft and said he would be willing to reimburse his parents. 

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