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Hammond sentenced for endangerment

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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 initially charged with felony DUI, but the charge was amended to criminal endangerment as part of a plea agreement reached earlier.

According to court records, on Sept. 18, 2021, law enforcement received a call regarding a possibly intoxicated woman in a vehicle parked in the middle of Red Horn Road north of St. Ignatius. A responding deputy with the Lake County Sheriff’s office located the vehicle and found a woman inside slumped over the steering wheel. The deputy could also see a bottle of vodka on the floor in front of the driver’s seat. After several attempts, the deputy was able to awaken the woman, later identified as Hammond. The deputy could smell alcohol on Hammond’s breath, and her eyes appeared red and watery. She refused to conduct any field sobriety tests or take a preliminary breath test. A search warrant was obtained for a blood draw which showed Hammond’s blood alcohol content at .307.

In addition to the 30 days of incarceration, Hammond must perform 60 hours of community service and take parenting classes.

Retired Judge Karen Townsend of Missoula presided over the sentencing hearing as Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher is still recovering from an undisclosed health matter.

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