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Lake County District Court news for May 13, 2010

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Judge C.B. McNeil dealt with the following cases on May 5, 2010:

• Clifford Dione Old Horn, 23, Deer Lodge, pleaded not guilty after being charged for felony deliberate homicide. An omnibus hearing is set for June 9 at 9 a.m. and Old Horn is currently being held at Montana State Prison. 

According to court records, the charge stems from Old Horn’s connection to a 2005 incident in which an elderly man was found dead when firefighters responded to a fire at his residence. The autopsy reported that the man was beaten and died from a knife wound to the neck before the fire. 

•Wayne Lawrence Blickenstaff, 21, Polson, pleaded not guilty to felonies aggravated assault, assault on a minor and criminal endangerment and misdemeanor tampering with a communication device. An omnibus hearing was set for June 9 at 9 a.m.

According to court record, the charges stem from an April 25 incident when Polson Police responded to a residence where a domestic assault reportedly occurred. 

When questioned, the woman at the residence told police that Blickenstaff went into a rage and began throwing and breaking things around the home before physically attacking her while she held a 5-month-old baby. 

When the woman broke free from Blickenstaff, she said he grabbed a cordless home phone and threw it against the wall. 


Judge Deborah Kim Christopher dealt with the following cases on May 6, 2010:

• Stephen D. Leischner, 23, American Falls, Idaho, was committed to the Department of Corrections for 15 years will all suspended but five years for felony criminal possesion of drugs with intent to distribute and tampering with evidence. The sentences for each charge are to run concurrently. 

According to court records, the charges stem from a Jan. 19 incident at 1:30 p.m. when a Northwest Drug Taskforce Agent was contacted by a Parole officer about two males selling methamphetamine in the Lake County area. A confidential informant described one male as “Stevie” as being 5’7” tall, bald or shaved head, a goatee and tattooed writing down each forearm. This description matched that of Stephen Leischner. The informant told the agent that he had a large amount of meth, he had a handgun, along with cash and marijuana and that the males where going to be in Lake County for 4-5 days to sell or trade the meth for pistols or shotguns that could be sawed off.

The informant placed a call to Stevie and his friend, Dustin Morgan, answered the phone and stated that they were in Boulder, Mont. but they would come to Lake County to sell some meth to the informant. 

On Jan. 20, the agent was stationed in Arlee with a tribal police captain. The informant was to meet the two males in about 30 minutes. They observed the males in a green Cadillac. They followed in three cars behind it. Two other officers were stationed in Ravalli and waited and then as the Cadillac was northbound on US Highway 93, they fell in behind it as one officer fell back. 

All three law enforcement vehicles activated their emergency lights. The Cadillac then accelerated to high speeds towards Ravalli Hill.During the chase, a deputy observed the passenger throwing things out of the vehicle window, which were later recovered.

The chase ended in Charlo, near Olsen road and Highway 212, where the two men exited the car and began running east and were stopped by law enforcement.

In the vehicle, the agent observed white material that appeared to be crystal methamphetamine on the front seat, floorboards, window seals and right side door panel, a glass pipe, and a leafy substance that appeared to be marijuana on the front passenger seat. A scale was also recovered in Ravalli.

After a warrant was issued, a search of the vehicle recovered a black computer bag and a red cooler, a large quantity of unused plastic bags hidden in socks, a glass pipe with meth residue, a black lock-box containing another black box with scattered pieces of meth shards inside, two computers, cell phones and a number of 9MM shells. 

• Lavonda Marie Curley, 36, Ronan, had a suspended sentence revoked and was sentenced to MWP for five years with three years suspended for felony issuing a bad check. The court also recommended that she be  considered for placement in the Elkhorn Treatment Center. 

According to court record, the charges stem from August 2004 when Curley issued and delivered checks totaling approximately $231.30 in bad checks to various merchants on account that had non-sufficient funds. On July 14, 2005, she was sentenced to DOC for five years with all suspended. 

Her sentence was revoked due to multiple violations to her probation. 

• Douglas Charles Branson, 53, St. Ignatius, was found guilty of misdemeanor forgery and was sentenced to six months in Lake County Jail with all suspended. He was fined $1,500 with all suspended but $250 and was charged $60 in court costs. 

According to court records an employee of a bank discovered that Branson sold a number of cattle to the Missoula Livestock Exchange and two banks had liens against the cattle.

On Jan. 9, Missoula Livestock Exchange issued a check in the amount of $20,489.24 payable to Branson and the two banks. He took the check to a bank that refused to deposit the check because it was not endorsed by anyone from the bank. 

On Jan. 28, he then took the check back to the bank and this time, they agreed to deposit it because it appeared to be endorsed by a vice president of the bank.

On Oct. 20, the vice president signed an affidavit of forgery, stating that he did not endorse, nor authorized endorsement of the check. 

• Justin Acree Keeble, 28, St. Ignatius, admitted to misdemeanor partner/family member assault and felony criminal endangerment. He was found guilty and sentencing is scheduled for July 22 at 9 a.m.

According to court records, the charges stem from a March 18 incident when a St. Ignatius Police Officer was notified of a 911 hang up call from a cell phone. When the officer called the number, he could hear a female screaming and then the phone went dead, so he responded to the home.

Keeble opened the door and told the officer he was arguing with the woman and was just leaving. The officer noticed when Keeble spoke, he could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage and also that a large abrasion was on the woman’s head.

He then detained Keeble in his patrol car and went into the home to speak with the woman. She had a hard time talking and appeared to be lethargic. She complained of a pain in her neck and head. She told the officer that Keeble came home drunk a few hours earlier and was playing the stereo. She asked him to turn it down and he threw her to the floor, then began to strangle her and that’s when she tried to call 911.

• Comfort Trellis Bolen, Sr., 32, Ronan, pleaded not guilty to felonies threats and other improper influence in official and political matters, criminal endangerment and partner/family member assault. An omnibus hearing was set for June 3 at 9 a.m.

According to court records, the charges stem from a Nov. 14, 2009 incident. Authorities responded to Bolen’s home after receiving a 911 call from someone in the home stating that Bolen had been arguing and then shot a gun off inside the house. 

While the caller talked with dispatch, Bolen said the caller could leave the house but then told the dispatcher that he would shoot any officer that tried to remove him from the house. 

• Kevin James Davis, 46, Pablo, pleaded not guilty to felonies sexual intercourse without consent, sexual assault, aggravated assault, criminal endangerment, and partner/family member assault.  An omnibus hearing was set for May 27 at 9 a.m.

According to court documents, the charges stem from an April 20 incident with a Sherriff’s Deputy responded to a home in Pablo on a report of sexual assault. 

At the residence, a person told the deputy that Davis got into a fight with his girlfriend and tried to rape her because he thought she was having an affair

• Barbara Marie McDonough, Pablo, pleaded not guilty to felonies attempted tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and criminal possession of dangerous drugs. An omnibus hearing was set for June 30 at 9 a.m.

According to court records the charges stem from a March 24 incident when police were called to assist officers at the probation office to transport McDonough’s father, Glen Parker, to the Lake County Jail. 

Probation officers told the deputy that McDonough was in Parker’s van and when they attempted to search it, McDonough got out with her purse and a backpack. When officers recovered the backpack, they found several hypodermic needles, a blue box containing a methamphetamine substance, a paper bindle containing a white powder and a clear glass pipe. 

McDonough later admitted to removing the backpack from the van to keep Parker from getting in trouble.

• Bruce Henning, 51, Coaldale, Alberta, Canada, was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor criminal trespass to property. An omnibus hearing was set for May 20 at 9 a.m.

According to court records, the charges stem from an incident on April 5 when Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a report of someone ramming a gate to private property. When the deputy arrived, the property owner had detained Henning at gunpoint. 

The owner told police that Henning’s Jeep approached the gate and asked for Bruce through the intercom. 

The owner said no one by that name lived there and the Jeep left only to return later and speed through the gate. The owner grabbed his firearm, jumped in his truck and was able to intercept the Jeep, forcing it to stop before it reached the house. The owner then detained Henning until police arrived. 

• James Wayne After Buffalo, 38, Butte, had his suspended sentence revoked and was committed to DOC for four years with all suspended for felony driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

According to court records, the charge stems from a January 2007 incident that led to his arrest and sentencing. 

His sentence was revoked for violations to his probation. 

• Sunny Pierce, 33, Charlo, admitted to an amended charge of felony criminal endangerment. He was found guilty and sentencing was scheduled for June 10 at 9 a.m. 

According to court records, the charge stems from an Oct. 29 incident when a Tribal Police Officer responded to a disturbance call.

When the officer arrived, he observed a man standing on the driver’s side of his vehicle and Pierce standing on passenger’s side. He observed Pierce throw something away. The other man walked toward the officer and the officer noticed a large amount of blood soaking the left side of him.

The man asked if the officer would remove Pierce from his property. When the officer pointed out the blood on his shirt, the man then noticed that he had been stabbed.

The man stated that he had been sleeping when he awoke to Pierce on top of him with a knife and thought he was being punched.

The man was taken to St. Luke’s and then life-flighted to Kalispell.

The officer located the item that was thrown; it was a knife with blood on it.

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