Valley Journal
Valley Journal

Lake Mary Ronan man withdraws no contest plea, opts for trial

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POLSON — District Judge James Manley has allowed a Lake Mary Ronan man to withdraw his no contest plea to one count of felony criminal endangerment after he rejected a plea agreement that called for sentencing being deferred for three years. Brendan Edward Adams, 58, entered into a plea agreement at District Court in Polson on May 20 that amended one count of felony assault with a weapon to felony criminal endangerment.

According to court records, on July, 2, 2020, A Lake County Sheriff’s deputy responded to Geiger Lane near Lake Mary Ronan on a report that a neighbor was “menacing people with a gun.” At the scene a man reported that Adams had pointed a gun at his wife and threatened to shoot her if she touched his fence post again. The man said he retrieved his own gun to protect his wife. 

Judge Manley told Adams during a sentencing hearing Aug. 18, that although he has never been convicted of a felony before and should be afforded the opportunity of a deferred sentenced, this should stay on his record due to a similar incident that was handled in federal court before U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen. In that matter, records show Adams had a civil judgment against him for claims of battery, trespass, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. In the findings of facts, the jury found that Adams wrongfully imprisoned another person by intentionally and aggressively blocking the person’s ability to cross an easement the person had permission to use. The judgment against Adams, dated May 10, 2021, totaled $850,000.

Judge Manley told Adams he wanted to sentence him to three years with the Montana Department of Corrections with all but 30 days jail time suspended. Judge Manley told Adams he could serve the 30 days jail on home arrest. Adams chose to take the case to trial. Judge Manley set a trial date of Dec. 6.

In a separate matter, Adams entered a plea of not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of unauthorized work. According to court records, Adams is alleged to have knowingly and without permit, permanently altered the lake shore protection zone by maintaining a 200-foot floating dock and extended his lawn into Lake Mary Ronan by depositing rock fill below the annual mean high water mark. This was allegedly recorded on video by an area resident. 

Judge Manley set this case for trial Feb. 14, 2022.

 

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