Defendant pleads not guilty


December 10, 2020

Defendant Daniel Haslage made his initial appearance in 20th District Judicial Court on Tuesday, entering a not guilty plea to felony criminal endangerment. Judge James Manley set Haslage’s trial date for April 26, 2021.

According to charging documents, Haslage was arrested in June 2020 after a high-speed chase involving a stolen vehicle. Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) was alerted to an orange 1970 Dodge Charger that was stolen from Mullan, Idaho. An MHP trooper spotted the vehicle on I-90 and a pursuit ensued through Mineral and Sanders County. MHP and Sanders County Sheriff’s deputies several times recorded the Charger being driven at speeds of over 100 miles per hour, including through the town of Paradise. Officers found the vehicle after it had been crashed into a tree near Rainbow Lake off Highway 28. Officials from Flathead County, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Police and Two Bear Air assisted in searching for the driver, who witnesses said ran into the woods. The search was called off, but charging documents state that the driver, identified as Haslage, was later detained near mile marker 12 on Highway 28.

Sanders County Ledger canvas prints

Haslage’s attorney, public defender Kirk Kurtilla, argued for Haslage to be released Tuesday, but Judge Manley denied that request. Manley stated that he needed more information, including details on Haslage’s criminal record, before granting Haslage’s release. Haslage faces up to $50,000 in fines and 10 years in prison if convicted.

Also in court Tuesday, Wyatt Brooks made his initial appearance on two felony charges. Brooks pleaded not guilty to felony strangulation and felony charge partner or family member assault, third offense. The charges stem from a November 5 incident in Thompson Falls. Brooks’s trial was set for April 26, 2020.


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