Valley Journal
Valley Journal

Lake County District Court news for Sept. 20, 2017

Judge James A. Manley sentenced the following people on Aug. 30, Sept. 6 and 13:

Aaron Shea Billings, 22, of Ronan, received six months in jail with all but 30 days suspended for his first DUI and a six-year deferred sentence for criminal endangerment. The sentences will run concurrently. Two criminal mischief misdemeanors were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Billings was charged following an April 5, 2016 crash in which he ran a stop sign, hit another vehicle and then struck a third vehicle and broke a fence on Buchanan Street in Ronan, according to a court document. Billings had a blood alcohol content of .168. He was given credit for 23 days served and ordered to pay $7,924 in restitution and $1,680 in fines and fees. He was also ordered to complete chemical dependency and mental health evaluations and complete counseling.

Jamie Lee Camel, 41, of Polson, was given a five-year deferred sentence for an amended charge of criminal endangerment. He was originally charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon for a Jan. 3 incident in which he wrapped one hand around a woman’s mouth, another around her neck and strangled her. Defense attorney Eldena Bear Don’t Walk said it was Camel’s first criminal offense. She noted that the victim sent Camel over 300 text messages in a five-month period and had been trying to get back together with him despite a protective order being in place. Camel did not respond to the texts, she said. He was given credit for two days in jail, ordered to pay $450 in restitution for a laptop computer, complete a 40-hour anger management course and a chemical dependency evaluation. Manley suggested Camel may want to ask for an order of protection against the victim, who prosecuting attorney Brendan McQuillan said was “remarkably uncooperative.” Prior to sentencing, Camel read a statement in which he apologized to the victim.

Jewel Lea Zakit, 21, of Pablo, was given a three-year deferred sentence for criminal possession of dangerous drugs. An identical charge was dismissed along with a possession with intent to distribute charge as part of a plea agreement. She was given credit for six days in jail and recommended for outpatient drug treatment. Zakit was arrested following a Feb. 21 traffic stop in which police found a baggie of methamphetamine, scale and $90 in cash in the vehicle. While being processed into jail, a meth pipe was found hidden in her bra.

Austin Reese Lilly, 23, of Ronan, was sentenced to a total of five years in DOC with two years suspended for criminal endangerment and drug possession. Charges of criminal endangerment, DUI, fleeing a police officer and bail jumping were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. According to a court document, Lilly stole a 2004 GMC from a residence on Eli Gap Road on Oct. 28, 2016. Lilly fled on foot after a traffic stop that day, but during a traffic stop on Nov. 1, law enforcement arrested him and found drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine in the vehicle. Lilly was ordered to pay $324 in restitution and was recommended for the Nexus drug treatment program. Defense attorney Britt Cotter said that Lilly was “one of the most severe” examples of drug addiction that he’s seen. He was given credit for 118 days in jail.

Dennis William Ahenakew, 20, of Arlee, was given a three-year deferred sentence for a drug possession charge. A nurse found an illegal drug in Ahenakew’s belongings when he was at St. Luke’s Hospital, a court document states.

Judge Kim Christopher sentenced the following people on Aug. 31 and Sept. 14:

Virginia Agnes Charlo, 57, of Arlee, was given a five-year suspended sentence to the Department of Corrections for an amended charge of criminal endangerment. She was originally charged for her sixth DUI. She was given credit for 29 days in jail for the Oct. 10, 2016 incident in Arlee. Her sentence will run consecutively to one from Missoula County.

Peggy Diane Morse, 59, of Ronan, was given a three-year suspended sentence except for 15 days in jail for criminal possession of dangerous drugs. Morse was ordered to report to jail by Sept. 28 because she failed to get a chemical dependency evaluation. According to a court document, Morse was arrested following a Nov. 11, 2016 traffic stop when it was reported that she was outside the residence of someone who had a protective order against her. A syringe was in plain sight inside the white Cadillac she was driving. During a search, police found a second syringe in her purse along with a baggie of methamphetamine. She has a prior conviction in Florida for possession with intent to sell.Christopher said Morse was getting a chance most people don’t get because of her prior felony conviction.


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