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Lake County District Court news for Sept. 9, 2010

Judge C. B. McNeil dealt with the following cases on Wednesday, Sept 1:

Cody James Stringer, 23, Helena, was sentenced to three years in the Department of Corrections, with all suspended, to run concurrent with Lewis and Clark County sentencing for a previously suspended sentence for theft, a felony.

Stringer was arrested in March 2010 for misdemeanor theft and felony burglary. The felony burglary charge violated previous probation terms of the suspended sentence.

The original theft charge stems from an April 13, 2005 incident in Lake County in which Stinger allegedly stole money from a coworker.

Sheldon Haynes, 21, Arlee, was found guilty of a felony burglary and felony tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. The charges stem from a March 13, 2010 stabbing incident in the Polson WalMart parking lot. 

The court reviewed and accepted a plea agreement and sentencing is set for Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Rocky S. Armijo, 34, Ronan, pleaded not guilty to felony aggravated assault, felony criminal endangerment, and felony partner/family member assault. 

According to court records, charges stem from an August 17 domestic assault incident in Ronan. Armijo remains in custody and bond is set for $50,000.

An omnibus hearing is set for Wednesday, Sept. 22.

John Emery Steele, 18, Pablo, pleaded not guilty to criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony. According to court records, charges stem from an Aug.13 incident in Pablo where law enforcement officials discovered Lortab, a controlled substance, inside an over-the-counter Aleve bottle in Steele’s possession.

The court granted a request by the Steele’s attorney to reserve bond hearing. Steele remains in custody and an omnibus hearing is set for Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Tashina Carpenter, 21, St. Ignatius, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony assault with a weapon and felony aggravated assault.

According to court records, the charges stem from a July 22, 2010 stabbing incident in St. Ignatius.

Carpenter remains free on bail and an omnibus hearing is set for Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Kyle Brown, 36, pleaded not guilty to the charge of deliberate homicide, a felony. 

According to court records, the charge stemmed from a July 7, 2005 mobile home fire in the St. Ignatius area where firefighters recovered the partially burned body of Harold Mitchell, Jr.

The body was sent to the state crime lab where it was determined that Mitchell died from a knife wound to the neck before the fire started. The investigation also determined that gasoline was used as an accelerant in the fire, and Mitchell’s death was determined a homicide. According to a witness report in court documents, Brown allegedly entered the home with three other people to steal money from Mitchell.

Brown remains in custody and an omnibus hearing is set for Wednesday, Sept. 29.

Maureen Kay Hunter, 53, Missoula, was sentenced to 13 months in an appropriate correctional facility followed by two-year commitment to Department of Corrections, all of which is suspended, for the charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fourth or subsequent offense, a felony. Hunter will receive credit for time served.

Judge Deborah Kim Christopher dealt with the following cases on Sept. 2

Jason O’Canna, 44, San Jacinto, Calif., pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal possession with intent to distribute and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

The charges stem from a traffic stop on July 24, 2010, where officers discovered marijuana and hashish in the vehicle.

O’Canna is free by posting bail, and an omnibus hearing is set for Thursday, Oct. 21.

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