Valley Journal

Lake County District Court news for Dec. 4, 2013

Judge James A. Manley dealt with the following cases on Wednesday, Nov. 27:

Marc Friscia, 24, Polson, was committed to Montana State Prison for 10 years with none suspended on revocation of his probation and parole for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, a felony. He received 10 years in Montana State Prison with none suspended for aggravated assault, a felony, on revocation of his parole and probation. The sentences will run concurrently and are ordered to run concurrent to any sentence imposed in the State of Washington for unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.     

Carla Johnson Wigton, 51, Polson, pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fourth or subsequent offense, a felony. 

An omnibus hearing was set for Jan. 29, 2014, with a jury trial commencing on March 3, 2014. Wigton was released on her own recognizance. She will participate in the 24/7 sobriety test and come to the courthouse daily. 

According to court documents, the charge stems from an incident on Nov. 3 at approximately 3:44 p.m. Wigton ran a red light at the intersection of U.S. Highway 93 and State Highway 35 and crashed into a vehicle lawfully turning left on Hwy. 35.

The officer investigating said he could smell the odor of alcoholic beverages on Wigton’s breath and her speech was slow and slurred.

At the Lake County Jail, she provided a Intoxilyzer 8000 breath sample indicating her blood alcohol concentration was .159. Records showed Wigton had five prior DUI convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Misty Jo Whitworth, 37, Pablo, changed her plea, admitting she committed two counts of criminal child endangerment, felonies, and criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony. 

The Court made its findings, accepted the pleas and found Whitworth guilty of the charges. Her deferred sentence for forgery was revoked. Sentencing was set for Jan. 8, 2014.

According to court documents, charges stem from a single vehicle accident on Nov. 14. A deputy responding said Whitworth had been driving, and her vehicle was teetering on the side of a wildlife culvert, and she appeared to be under the influence but had no detectible alcohol on her breath.

The deputy performed a Drug Recognition Expert Exam on Whitworth and believed she was under the influence of a CNS stimulant, a narcotic analgesic, cannabis, and she was not safe to drive. 

She admitted to partying the night before — consuming marijuana a 10 p.m., snorting oxycodone and methadone with a beer at 2 a.m. and shooting 20 cc. of methamphetamine at 2:30 a.m. Whitworth also stated she had just driven her two boys, ages 9 and 7, to Pablo Elementary School right before the accident. She stated there were no child seats in her car and that if the boys were in the car when she crashed, they would have been seriously injured or killed, according to court records. 

Whitworth gave the deputy permission to search her bag, and the deputy found four baggies of a white crystalline substance, which due to drug training, the officer believed to be methamphetamine.

Trevor Gardipe, 17, changed his plea and admitted committing burglary, a felony.

The Court made its findings, accepted the pleas and found Gardipe guilty of the charge.

Sentencing was set for Jan. 15, 2014.  

Louis Burrafato, 38, Pablo, changed his pleas and admitted committing driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fourth or subsequent offense, a felony. 

The Court made its findings, accepted the pleas and found Burrafato guilty of the charges. Sentencing was set for Jan. 8, 2014 at 9 a.m.

Marco Houle, 32, Polson, changed his plea and admitted committing the amended offense of sexual assault, a misdemeanor. 

The Court made its findings, accepted the plea and found Houle guilty of the charge. He was sentenced to Lake County Jail for six months with all suspended for a term of one year and will receive credit for time served.

 

Judge James A. Manley dealt with the following cases on Wednesday, Nov. 20:

Victor Morigeau, 54, Ronan, was sentenced to the Department of Corrections for 10 years with all but two years and six months suspended for one count of assault on a peace officer. For another count of assault on a peace office, Morigeau received another 10 years in DOC with all but two years and six months suspended. For driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fourth or subsequent offense, a felony, Morigeau was sentenced to DOC for 13 months for placement in an appropriate correctional facility or program, and if the program is successfully completed, the remainder of the 13-month sentence is to be served on probation. Morigeau is not eligible for parole, and in addition he shall be sentenced to five years commitment to DOC or MSP with all of that time suspended. All sentences are to run concurrently.

Natasha Blixt, 21, Pablo, pleaded not guilty to criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony. 

An omnibus hearing was set for Jan. 15, 2014 with a jury trial scheduled for Feb. 18, 2014. 

According to court documents, the charge stemmed from an Oct. 16 incident when a deputy sheriff investigated a possible theft. 

The victim answered her door, and a young women said she had run out of gas and asked to use the phone and the bathroom. The victim complied and then gave the young woman a ride back to her car. When the victim returned home, she found her prescription for hydrocodone missing from the bathroom.

The deputy saw an individual matching the victim’s description walking, stopped and asked her what was going on. The deputy recognized Blixt from a prior contact. 

Blixt admitted using the bathroom but said she had not taken anything. When the deputy asked where the pills were, Blixt allegedly replied by asking if the deputy would let her go if she gave him the pills, according to court records.

At Lake County Jail during booking, a female officer found 17 hydrocodone tablets in Blixt’s possession.

Alisha Yvonne McDanal, 34, Polson, pleaded not guilty to intimidation, a felony. 

An omnibus hearing was scheduled for Jan. 29, 2014, with a jury trial set for March 3, 2014. 

According to court documents, the charge stems from an incident on Nov. 3 when Lake County dispatch received a report of possible domestic abuse and that the victim had a broken leg. 

When officers reached the scene, they saw a woman, lying on the ground in front of the apartment. Her leg was bent at an unnatural angle, and she had blood on her face. Officers carried the victim to the apartment building and evacuated her through a back window so she could be transported to the hospital. 

A man, identified as Michael Gardipee, was allegedly holed up in apartment 6, and officers made contact. Gardipee eventually opened the door and he and McDanal were arrested.

While officers were attempting to get Gardipee to exit the apartment, Providence St. Joseph's Hospital called to say the alleged domestic abuse victim had a gunshot wound to her leg. 

Officers spoke with the victim at the hospital. She and a friend had been at Gardipee’s apartment when he discovered his iPad was missing and accused her of taking the tablet. Allegedly the victim couldn’t remember the sequence of events but remembered being beaten and believed she was shot while lying on the couch because when she attempted to get up and leave the apartment, she couldn’t walk and had to scoot out of the apartment.

She wasn’t sure who shot her but she was clear Gardipee was the person hitting and kicking her outside the apartment. Officers observed the victim had a fat lip, a black eye and pattern injuries on her nose consistent with a shoe tread. 

A witness was told to not call the police or he would be killed and allegedly McDanal told the witness the same thing. 

Later on Nov. 6 when the victim was more lucid, she told an officer it was Nathaniel Bird who shot her, because he was upset about the missing iPad, according to court records. 

Gardipee backed up the victim’s story by confirming Bird shot her with a .22 caliber revolver, covered with a pillow to muffle the noise of the shot. 

Michael Gardipee, 35, Ronan, pleaded not guilty to intimidation, a felony. Bond at Gardipee’s initial appearance was set at $50,000 and remained at $50,000.

 

Judge Deborah Kim Christopher dealt with the following cases on Thursday, Nov. 21: 

William H. Noel, 51, Pablo, pleaded not guilty to partner or family member assault, a felony. An omnibus hearing was set for Jan. 9, 2014 with a jury trial scheduled for Feb. 24, 2014. 

According to court documents, the charge stems from an Oct. 15 incident when Noel allegedly sneaked up on the victim, his ex-wife, slammed a gate on her hand, hit her in the head two times with a closed fist and kicked her in the back. 

The officer investigating found the victim crying outside her home. 

The officer also talked to Noel, who denied hitting the victim. 

Noel’s criminal history indicates two prior convictions for partner or family member assault and domestic violence.

Kevin Scott Pierce, 31, Ronan, pleaded not guilty to three counts of criminal endangerment, all felonies; operating a motor vehicle while privilege to do so is suspended or revoked, fourth or subsequent offense, a misdemeanor; failure to carry proof or exhibit liability insurance, third offense, a misdemeanor; fleeing from or eluding peace officer, a misdemeanor; resisting arrest, a misdemeanor; failure to have lamps lighted when required, a misdemeanor.

An omnibus hearing was scheduled for Jan. 9, 2014 with a jury trial set for Feb. 24, 2014. 

According to court documents, charges stem for a Nov. 3 event when Lake County Sheriff’s dispatch notified officers there had been a report of a possible drunk driver at Town Pump, Ronan. The reporting party described the suspect vehicle as an older red and white truck being driven by a man. 

An officer pulled in to Town Pump and observed a red and white Ford pickup pull away from the gas pumps with no light on. 

An officer initiated a traffic stop, and Pierce, the driver, pulled over but did not turn off the pickup as requested. When an officer opened the driver’s side door and reached for the keys, Pierce allegedly put the pickup in gear and drove off, with officers following. 

Pierce attempted to turn right on Fourth Avenue SE, but he lost control of the pickup and ran over the corner street sign and into a section of fence, coming to rest at the northwest corner of Fourth Street SW and Franklin Street.  

One of the officers removed his seat belt to exit his patrol car when Pierce allegedly put his pickup into reverse and accelerated backwards, striking the deputy’s patrol car. Then Pierce put the pickup in forward gear and struck the patrol car again before driving away. The deputy couldn’t pursue because he was concerned damage to his patrol car affected its functionality.

Another deputy was approaching so he turned and joined the pursuit. Still without headlights, Pierce fled eastbound on Terrace Lake Road in Ronan at speeds exceeding 80 mph, nearly hitting a vehicle in the oncoming lane near the intersection of Terrace Lake and North Foothills Drive. 

Near the intersection of Terrace Lake Road and Timberlane Road, Pierce slowed down and allegedly drove in the ditch on the south side of the road and was removed from his vehicle by deputies and handcuffed. 

Sheldon Hameline, 33, Big Arm, pleaded no contest to criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony. 

The Court made its findings, accepted the plea and found Hameline guilty of the charges. 

Sentencing was set for Jan. 9, 2014.

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