Written by Devon Boen
Levi Haren, the teenager facing charges of felony sexual intercourse without consent and felony burglary stemming from separate incidents, has changed his pleas from not guilty to guilty in the wake of a plea agreement.
The sexual intercourse without consent charge stems from Haren allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl in December 2011.
His burglary charge came later, in June 2012, after he and two others, Darian Damm and James Carpenter, allegedly broke into the Val-Am convenience store in Culbertson and stole over $5,500.
Haren already has felony convictions following a slew of burglaries in Cul-bertson in 2011.
Haren pleaded not guilty to both charges earlier in the year, but quickly changed his tune when a plea agreement was reached. The agreement, which includes both charges, stated in exchange for a guilty plea, Haren’s case will receive a pre-sentence investigation which will determine exactly what penalties he will face rather than him facing the wrath of his peers in a trial by jury.
The investigation will be completed by the Montana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole, and the agreement states the county attorney agrees to follow the recommendations for sentencing set forth in the investigation.
Although it says the county attorney will follow the recommendations, it is a non-binding plea agreement, so District Judge David Cybulski has no obligation to accept the recommendations and could determine a different penalty if he decided to do so.
It is undetermined if Haren will face prison time or how long the sentence would be, but it was explicitly stated he would pay a total of $80 in surcharges, and repay the court for his state-appointed attorney, among other fines and restitutions.
Any prison time he receives for the two separate charges will run concurrently, and all the time he is detained during the investigation will be subtracted from any sentence.
The court opposed Haren’s request to be released on house arrest and opposed any reduction in bond because of his previous criminal history.
The pre-sentence investigation is on-going and Haren will remain detained while he awaits the outcome.