Valley Journal
Valley Journal

Public Record

Ruling says 18-year-olds must be allowed to access their ballots

News from Rylee Sommers-Flanagan, Upper Seven Law BILLINGS — Judge Moses of the Thirteenth Judicial District Court held Wednesday that House Bill 506, which restricts ballot access for voters who turn 18 in the month before Election Day, violates the Montana Constitution. Youth plaintiff groups, Montana Youth Action, Forward Montana Foundation, and Montana Public Interest Research Group (MontPIRG) challenged this bill and two others last fall, alleging that the Montana Legislature had discriminated against the youngest members of the electorate. These bills weave a web of administrative challenges that deter and sometimes prevent young people from voting, denying the newest me...


Chinnock sentenced for girlfriend’s murder Chinnock sentenced for girlfriend’s murder

AURORA, COLORADO — A Polson man who pled guilty to the murder of his girlfriend earlier this year was sentenced in Aurora District Court on July 12.  Dakota Chinnock, 21, has been sentenced to serve a total 60 years behind bars for the kidnapping and murder of Amanda Farley, 20, also of Polson....


Martinez sentenced for felony burglary, assault Martinez sentenced for felony burglary, assault

POLSON — A Polson man was sentenced at District Court in Polson on July 13 to a total of 40 years with the Montana State Prison, with 20 years suspended, on felony charges of aggravated burglary and assault with a weapon. Chimeco Rivers Martinez, 18, entered open guilty pleas to the charges on April...


New hire and retirements

POLSON — James Lapotka has been sworn in as the top prosecutor of Lake County. Former Lake County Attorney Steve Eschenbacher’s last day was June 30. Lapotka was sworn-in as the new Lake County Attorney that afternoon by District Judge Molly Owen.  Also retiring this week was Barbara Mars...


Moore sentenced for negligent homicide

POLSON — A Marion woman convicted of causing a fatal crash in a stolen car was sentenced at District Court in Polson on June 30 to a total of 18 years in the Montana State Women’s prison with 10 years suspended. Lease Sierra Moore, 19, entered a plea of guilty on April 7 to felony negligent homic...


Hoskinson to pay restitution Hoskinson to pay restitution

POLSON — The imposition of sentencing was deferred for six years for a St. Ignatius woman after she entered an Alford plea to one count of felony exploitation of an older or disabled person. The sentence for Shara Darlene Hoskinson, 45, was handed down at District Court in Polson on June 23 by Judge Ka...


Hammond sentenced for endangerment Hammond sentenced for endangerment

POLSON — A Dixon woman was committed to the Montana Department of Corrections for five years with all but 30 days jail time suspended on one count of felony criminal endangerment. The sentence was handed down during a hearing at District Court in Polson on June 9. Jennifer Michelle Hammond, 40, was ...


Mother and son sentenced for involvement in Blackweasel death Mother and son sentenced for involvement in Blackweasel death

POLSON — A mother from St. Ignatius and her adult son were sentenced, one right after the other, at District Court in Polson on May 25 for their involvement in the death of 18-year-old Saul Blackweasel last January. Rope Kinkade Ardis, 20, was sentenced to the Montana State Prison for eight years wi...


Glass sentence deferred Glass sentence deferred

POLSON — The imposition of sentencing for a Polson man caught with fentanyl hidden in his body was deferred for three years. Jimmy Justin Glass, 41, was given credit for time served of 146 days during his sentencing hearing at District Court in Polson on May 25. Glass was booked into the Lake County...


Judge Manley retires from drug court Judge Manley retires from drug court

LAKE COUNTY — Judge Jim Manley’s next to last drug court was both raucous and poignant, a celebration and a farewell. It was also a testimonial to how the justice system, working in concert with a supportive community, can transform lives. Supreme Court Justice Ingrid Gustafson – a forme...


Sponsored by: