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Judge revokes deferred sentence after defendant admits violation


December 5, 2019

On Tuesday, Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher revoked a deferred sentence for Brandon Tollie and sentenced him to five years with the Montana Department of Corrections (DOC) with two years suspended. Tollie, from Bigfork, in April received a three-year deferred DOC sentence on a felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs charge. Tollie also was sentenced to 28 days in the Sanders County Jail, in accepting the plea agreement that also included misdemeanor night speeding and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

Tollie was initially arrested in October 2018 during a traffic stop on Highway 28. On Tuesday, Tollie admitted to a probation compliance violation. A probation officer with DOC testified to Judge Christopher that Tollie did not make contact with DOC following his sentencing in April.

Also in 20th District Judicial Court on Tuesday, a Thompson Falls woman entered not guilty pleas to four charges stemming from a probation visit to her home. Melissa Fowler is being held in the Sanders County Jail on four charges: criminal possession of dangerous drugs, endangering the welfare of children and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, all felonies, and misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia. Fowler was arrested last month after she allegedly also tested positive for drug use on urinalysis at a probation visit. Cody Best of Thompson Falls, who lives with Fowler, was also arrested following the probation search of their house. Best will have his initial appearance in district court before Judge Manley on December 10. He is charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and endangering the welfare of children, as well as misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

A defendant was found guilty Tuesday after changing his plea. Billy White was found guilty of felony criminal endangerment and misdemeanor partner or family member assault. His sentencing date was set for Jan. 21, 2020, by Judge Christopher.

Buck Hendrickson of Thompson Falls entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday to criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony. Hendrickson was arrested November 8 by a Sanders County Sheriff’s Office deputy after a warrant was issued from the City of Thompson Falls Police Department.

Scott Ward was sentenced under a plea agreement Tuesday to 123 days in the Sanders County Jail. Ward was sentenced by Judge Christopher for criminal endangerment.


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