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Lake County District Court news for April 19, 2017

Judge James A. Manley sentenced the following people on April 12:

Keith M. Conway, 36, of Arlee, was given a three-year sentence to the Montana State Prison for an amended charge of criminal endangerment. He was originally charged with rape after a woman said that she was intoxicated and fell asleep on Conway’s couch on Aug. 8, 2014, and woke up to find Conway on top of her. The woman said she couldn’t stop Conway, who the court document said weighed 350 pounds. According to the document, a test confirmed that Conway’s DNA was on the woman’s shirt. Conway allegedly told the woman that he would kill her if she told anyone, the court document states. Conway made an Alford plea in the case. Manley said he was concerned about the plea agreement, noting that a pre-sentence investigation had not been done. However, defense attorney Noel Larrivee said that he and county attorney Steve Eschenbacher had “wrassled with this thing for 15 months.” Larrivee added that the alleged victim was not keen on going to trial, and neither was his client. Eschenbacher said that a three-year sentence is probably a life sentence for Conway because he needs a heart transplant. “It’s not satisfactory, but probably the least amount of unsatisfactory,” Eschenbacher said. Manley was then persuaded to accept the plea agreement. Conway was given credit for 35 days in jail. Conway thanked the court for its patience.

Raymond James Head, 31, of Arlee, was given a oneyear sentence to the Lake County Jail with all time suspended except for nine days already served for an amended charge of misdemeanor DUI, his second offense. Head was originally charged with felony criminal endangerment following a traffic stop in which he was driving with passengers, including two infant children. County Attorney Steve Eschenbacher said Head expressed remorse and had been doing well with a SCRAM alcohol monitoring bracelet, which he will be required to keep on until Aug. 17. Head, who was ordered to pay $1,285 in fines and fees, said he is working a job in Browning.

Ashlie Gayle Couture, 31, of Pablo, received a three-year deferred sentence for criminal possession of dangerous drugs. A bail jumping charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. She was ordered to get a chemical dependency evaluation and pay $710 in fines and fees.

Judge Kim Christopher did not have court on April 13.

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