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Lake County District Court news for Feb. 15, 2017

Judge James Manley sentenced the following people on Wednesday, Feb. 8:

Mariana Waggoner was sentenced as part of a plea agreement to five years in the Department of Corrections with all of it suspended for theft. A burglary charge was dismissed. She was ordered to pay some $15,000 in restitution. According to court records, Waggoner was arrested on Dec. 26, 2014 as a passenger in a stolen vehicle that contained stolen personal property from a Dayton residence. Waggoner, who appeared last week by video camera from the Flathead County Jail, said she was recently sentenced for accountability to theft in Flathead County and a charge of criminal endangerment was dismissed. An extradition to Silver Bow County was pending.

Kyler Martin Runkel, 22, of Ronan, was sentenced to five years in the Department of Corrections with two years suspended for an amended charge of criminal endangerment. He was given credit for 90 days in jail. According to a court record, Runkel was originally charged with sexual assault and unlawful transactions with a child, a misdemeanor, for allegedly giving four shots of vodka to a 13-year-old girl in a Ronan city park and making unwanted sexual advances. As part of the conditions of the plea agreement, Runkel was ordered to complete Phase I of sex offender treatment.

Marci Faye Jore of Ronan was given a three-year deferred sentence for criminal possession of dangerous drugs. Charges of criminal distribution and possession of dangerous drugs were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Jore was given credit for 82 days spent in an in-patient drug treatment program. She was ordered to pay $710 in fines and fees. She thanked the court for allowing her the opportunity to complete the treatment program.

Judge Deborah Kim Christopher sentenced the following individual Thursday, Feb. 9:

Gary Lee Jeffery, Jr., 30, Elmo, for illegal possession of a firearm, a felony, was sentenced to the Department of Corrections for two years, all suspended except one day served for which he was credited.

When considering the sentence, Judge Christopher said she had reservations about the recommended sentence, noting Jeffery has a 2014 conviction for reckless endangerment with a firearm in Bismarck, North Dakota, and a drug possession conviction in 2015.

The current charge stemmed from an incident where a Polson resident was looking out a window and saw two men standing outdoors with a gun, according to court documents. Although Jeffery and his brother were not allowed to have guns, Jeffery cooperated with law enforcement and told them he had a gun in the car, prosecuting attorney Ben Anciaux explained. Because there really wasn’t a victim in this case, it was more like a status offense.

“It is a concern when weapons are involved, especially when they aren’t supposed to have them,” Judge Christopher said.

Defense attorney Jeff Wilson explained that Jeffery is hoping to move to Oregon, where he has a job waiting for him at a furniture store. He’s a single dad with an aunt and grandmother there for support, and he plans to attend a support groups for single dads.

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