Written by Al Stover
Mark Alan Vaughan appeared in Montana 15th Judicial Court Oct. 30 to change his plea from not guilty to ‘no contest’ on the felony charge of theft and the misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol (second offense) and driving without a valid driver’s license.
Pleading ‘no contest’ is similar to a plea of guilty in that the defendant concedes the charges alleged without disputing or admitting guilt without offering a defense.
Vaughan had appeared in court, Oct. 16, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges listed above.
Vaughan had been arrested by the Wolf Point Police Department after officers stopped to assist him. The vehicle Vaughan was driving matched the description of a 2001 black Dodge Stratus that had been stolen, in front of the Southside Jet Wash.
Officers also found a Gerber fixed-blade knife on Vaughan’s person during the arrest. Later in the evening, officers noticed a red Chevorlet Aveo in the parking lot of the Fort Peck Community College Dumont Building with its alarm activated. The owner of the vehicle reported that a Gerber fixed-blade knife was missing from the glove box of the vehicle.
During his booking process, Vaughan showed signs of impairment while trying to perform field sobriety tests. He was transported to Northeast Montana Health Services where a blood sample was obtained and sent to the Montana State Crime Lab for analysis.
Vaughan testified to the facts of the offenses and the court accepted the plea after the judge found it was voluntary.
The defense and the prosecution filed an ‘own recognizance’ to allow Vaughan to be free while he awaits his trial. Cybulski advised Vaughan to stay clean and keep in contact with his attorney.
A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered.