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Garza sentenced to five years

POLSON — A Washington state man was committed at District Court in Polson on Sept. 7 to five years with the Montana Department of Corrections, with none of that time suspended, for dealing drugs in Lake County. Luis Alfredo Garza, 35, entered a plea of guilty at District Court in Polson to criminal possession with intent to distribute on July 20 before Judge Molly Owen. The plea was entered as part of a plea agreement that came with a joint recommendation of the five-year commitment with no time suspended. According to court records, on April 30, Ronan Police Officer Jonathan Gilliland observed a suspicious vehicle. The license plate on the vehicle did not match any vehicle, pro...


Religious vax exemption rule temporarily blocked by lawmakers

News from Mara Silvers / Montana Free Press HELENA — The legislative committee that oversees the state health department voted Friday to delay implementation of the agency’s proposed rule expanding religious exemptions to required vaccines at childcare and daycare centers. The 9-1 vote to...


Heavy Runner sentenced for endangerment

POLSON — A Pablo man, formerly of Browning, was committed at District Court in Polson on Sept. 1 to the Montana Department of Corrections for a total of 10 years with five years suspended. Curtis James Heavy Runner, 40, entered a plea of guilty during an earlier court appearance to felony charges of cr...


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...


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 ...


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