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Man pleads not guilty to escape charges

William Wyatt pleaded not guilty to three counts on Tuesday before Judge Molly Owen. Wyatt is charged with one charge of felony escape, one charge of resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, and one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief.

According to charging documents, on February 9, 2024, Detective Ethan Harvey with the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office attempted to arrest Wyatt while serving a warrant. Documents allege that Wyatt escaped from the back of a patrol vehicle, cut off his handcuffs with a bolt cutter and disposed of them, then eluded officers for several hours.

Judge Owen set a trial date of August 26, 2024, for Wyatt.

Heather Farmer received a deferred sentence on Tuesday from Judge Owen. In sentencing in accordance with a plea agreement, Farmer was sentenced to five years deferred with the Montana Department of Corrections for one count of felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

Judge Owen commended Farmer for the steps she took prior to sentencing. “Congratulations to you for all the hard work you have done completing the outpatient programs. I see a lot of people who obtain chemical dependency evaluations prior to sentencing and hardly any of them go along with the recommendations before sentencing,” Judge Owen stated. “Good for you for being proactive.”

Judge Owen stated that Farmer has minimal criminal history but a serious methamphetamine addiction. “It’s going to be a long, difficult road for you,” Owen said. The judge also waived all fines and fees except a $10 court technology fee for Farmer.

Larry King was sentenced on Tuesday for a felony count of driving under the influence, fourth or subsequent offense. Judge Owen sentenced King to 10 years in the Montana State Prison with four years suspended, to run concurrent with a sentence King received in a case in Flathead County.

Prior to sentencing, King addressed the court and said he has post traumatic stress issues that he has not dealt with. “I haven’t addressed those and dealt with them. I haven’t gotten help and I would like to be given the opportunity to do that,” King told Judge Owen. King’s attorney, Cheryl Copperstone, asked Judge Owen to recommend placement at a Great Falls pre-release center when King gets to that point because of the additional services available for veterans there, to which Judge Owen agreed.

“Good for you for recognizing that you have these issues and wanting to address them,” Judge Owen told King. “That is the first and hardest step in recovery. I hope that you take advantage of every opportunity available to you and that you are never back here before this court again.”

King was given credit for 254 days served in the Sanders County Jail and will await transfer to the Montana State Prison.

 

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