Written by Herald-News
A 51-year-old Brockton man who stabbed and killed a 21-year-old man on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison, Friday, Sept. 12.
Great Falls United States District Court Judge Brian Morris sentenced David Lewis, 51, to 210 months in prison, followed by a term of five years supervised release.
Lewis previously pleaded guilty to second degree murder. In an offer of proof filed by the government, the government stated that if the case had proceeded to trial, it would have proven that Lewis stabbed the victim approximately 19 times in the back and arm following an alleged argument between them at Lewis’ house in Brockton.
The case came to law enforcement’s attention after the victim was reported missing by his family in January. During the search for the victim, Lewis pretended as if he did not know where the victim was and even pretended to help search for him. Upon further inquiry from law enforcement, Lewis eventually confessed that he had stabbed and killed the victim, and that the victim’s body was still in his home.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, Lewis will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is released from prison.
Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice criminal investigators and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.
Written by Herald-News
(Editor’s note: The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office distributes an inmate roster each week with charges and communities of residence to The Herald-News and The Searchlight to illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility.)
As of Monday Sept. 15, 10 inmates were incarcerated, Valley County Detention Center was holding two females and one male and the Fort Benton Detention Center was holding four males to alleviate overcrowding.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail as of Monday, Sept. 8: Adam Alonzo, 31, Williston, N.D./San Bernadino, Calif., criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell; Malinda Bibb, 31, Minot, N.D., arrested on a warrant; Michael Conant, 34, McCabe, partner/family member assault, felony criminal mischief, felony assault on a peace officer; Scott Crain, 27, Froid, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing a peace officer and misdemeanor criminal mischief; Andrew Giles, 32, Wolf Point, criminal contempt warrant and driving without a valid driver’s license; Tina Houim, 50, Tioga, N.D., criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence; Jason Knight, 37, Spokane, Wash., criminal possession of drug paraphernalia; Timothy Oglesby, 31, Hot Springs, Ark., out-of- county warrant; Jeremy Sepanski, 30, Plentywood, forgery, theft and obstruction of a peace officer; and Hilrio Velasquez, 33, Riverside, Calif., possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Written by Herald-News
(Editor’s Note: The following blotter is a partial list of activities involving the Wolf Point police and volunteer fire departments between Sept. 8 and 14. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
1:34 a.m., officers responded to Town Pump and arrested Patrick Mitchell, 35, of Wolf Point, on a warrant.
4:25 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Helena Street for a report of a theft with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continued as of press time.
9:42 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Benton Street for a request to remove an unwanted male and arrested Steven Follette, 34, of Wolf Point, for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.
12:08 a.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Second Avenue South for a report of a disturbance in progress and cited Adam The Boy Jr., 33, of Wolf Point, for simple assault.
2:59 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of East Blaine Street for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continued as of press time.
12 a.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on the 700 block of Listerud Street and arrested Colan Lilley, 32, of Wolf Point, on a warrant.
3:25 p.m., officers responded to the Amtrak de-
pot and removed Malinda Bibb, 31, of Minot, N.D., from a train. She was wanted on a warrant to revoke bail.
4:50 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Granville Street for a report of a theft with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continued as of press time.
8:41 p.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on the 300 block of Sixth Avenue South and cited Erin Miller, 29, of Wolf Point, for driving without a driver’s license and driving without insurance.
10 p.m., firefighters responded to the 500 block of Alder Street for a fire in a house that was confined to one room with minor injuries to several people who were in the house.
10 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Alder Street to assist the Wolf Point Volunteer Fire Department at a structure fire. Several people were transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services - Wolf Point Campus where they were treated for smoke inhalation.
2:59 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Benton Street for a report of domestic abuse. Charges are pending against a Poplar male.
11:06 p.m., officers responded to Lucky Lil’s Casino for a report of a disturbance in progress and arrested Shawn Onstad, 39, of Wolf Point, for aggravated assault and resisting arrest. A Wolf Point male was injured and transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services - Wolf Point Campus.
4:21 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Third Avenue South for a report of vandalism to a vehicle with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continued as of press time.
8 a.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Second Avenue South for a report of a domestic disturbance in progress and arrested Kale Garfield, 29, of Wolf Point for domestic abuse.
2:30 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Main Street for a report of an attempted forgery and theft and cited Susan April Bearcub-Welch, 26, of Poplar, for forgery and theft.
5 p.m., officers responded to SilverWolf Casino and arrested Felix Necklace, 30, of Poplar on a warrant.
2:05 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Helena Street for a report of a previous assault with minor injuries to a 21-year-old Wolf Point female. Charges are pending against a 24-year-old Wolf Point female.
6:50 p.m., firefighters responded to the 100 block of Helena Street for a fire with multiple points of origin in an uninhabited house. The cause of the fire is under investigation by Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice.
9:30 p.m., officers responded to Town Pump for a report of a gas drive off with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continued as of press time.
10:12 p.m., officers located a male suspect in a previous incident on the 500 block of Dawson Street. Charges are pending against a Wolf Point male.
10:45 a.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Fairweather Street for a report of vandalism to a vehicle with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continued as of press time.
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between Sept. 8 and 14: checks of wellbeing, nine; civil standby, two; domestic disturbance, seven; public assistance, eight; motor vehicle accidents, three; removal of unwanted individuals, 17; animal complaints, three; medical assistance, six; fire assistance, two; alarm, four; assist other agency, one; unfounded report, eight; driving complaints, one; and school-requested assistance, one.
Written by Herald-News
Gov. Steve Bullock was joined by representatives from natural resource industries, ranchers, wind power advocates, sportsmen and conservationists, as he signed an executive order establishing the sage grouse Habitat Conservation Program, Tuesday, Sept. 9.
The program, which was developed from the ground up, and has broad support from a diverse group of interests, seeks to maintain state management of the Sage Grouse by protecting its habitat, while respecting the private property rights of Montanans.
“Montanans recognize that it is in the best interest of our state, its economy, and our quality of life, to maintain state management of the greater sage-grouse,” Bullock said of the executive order. “Through a public process, and the work of a diverse group of stakeholders, we’ve developed a dynamic, and science-based approach to ensure this bird remains under state management, and is not listed under the Endangered Species Act.”
Once established, the program will work to implement the requirements laid out in the executive order, including a review process for actions that might impact the bird or its habitat, including industry-specific measures. In addition, the order addresses, among other topics: adopts a comprehensive program for keeping sage grouse management in the states hands; recognizes the important role that Montana’s private landowners play in sage grouse conservation and the need for voluntary incentives to help those landowners to stay on the land and preserve vital sage grouse habitat; creates the Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program and the Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team, attached to the Governor’s Office, to maintain state leadership, administer the program based on sound science, and continue to bring Montanans together to move sage grouse management forward; strikes the appropriate balance to preserve the sage grouse and its habitat and protect valid rights and existing land uses and activities; and ensures that Montana and Montanans will continue to manage this iconic species for the benefit of future generations – and continue to economically prosper from the industries that have existed in sage grouse country.
In addition, the executive order makes it clear that existing land uses and activities are not subject to the order, some uses and landowner activities are exempt from compliance with the strategy, including county road maintenance, and production and maintenance activities associated with existing oil, gas, communication tower and power line facilities.
“We appreciate the efforts and leadership from Governor Bullock to ensure that management of the sage grouse remains in state hands,” said Dave Galt, executive director of the Montana Petroleum Association. “By working together, we’ll ensure that we can protect not only this bird, but also economic opportunity and quality of life for all Montanans.”
“Continued state management of the sage grouse is important for all Montanans, especially for cattle ranchers,” Errol Rice, executive vice president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association said. “With an eye towards solutions, stakeholders with diverse viewpoints have come together to find science-based ways to ensure that we are protecting this bird, while respecting the needs of Montana ranching families.”
“We applaud the Governor’s willingness to step up to the plate to launch this important conservation program. Science shows that business-as-usual will have devastating effects on sage-grouse over the long-term. We all need to follow the emerging science and work closely together to conserve this iconic species. And what’s good for sage-grouse and sagebrush is good for a whole host of at-risk wildlife species—making this an important conservation program for the state of Montana and our wildlife,” said Janet Ellis, program director for Montana Audubon.
“We all have a role to play in ensuring the state retains management of the sage grouse for the benefit out our state’s economy and quality of life,” Glenn Marx, executive director of the Montana Association of Land Trusts said. “Through incentive-based conservation projects and actions, this plan recognizes that private land owners will play an important part in our success going forward.”
The program will be administratively attached the to the Governor’s Office. When fully implemented, the program will have up to six full-time staff. The Governor’s upcoming budget will include funding for the program, however until that budget is approved, the Governor intends to work with stakeholders to raise private funds help the program get off the ground.
In addition, the Bullock indicated that his upcoming executive budget will include a proposal for a Sage Grouse Stewardship and Conservation Fund, designed to, among other objectives, promote and fund voluntary incentive-based non-regulatory programs and practices on private land to conserve sage grouse habitat [if approved by the Legislature].
The executive order was based off of recommendations of the Greater Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Advisory Council, which Bullock established in 2013. The Advisory Council gathered information, and brought stakeholders and experts together in a public process to recommend conservation measures to address the primary and secondary threats to the greater sage-grouse in Montana. These recommendations were presented to Bullock in January.
The executive order is available online at: http://governor.mt.gov/Portals/16/docs/2014EOs/EO_10_2014_SageGrouse.pdf.
Written by John Plestina
Sheriff Freedom Crawford submitted a letter of resignation to the Roosevelt County Commission, effective Oct. 1, more than one month prior to the fall election.
Crawford, seeking a third term, is opposed by Deputy Jason Frederick, who garnered considerably more votes than Crawford in the June primary election. Crawford finished second among four candidates.
Commissioner Gary Macdonald said the commission is expected to accept Crawford’s resignation Tuesday, Sept. 16.
He also said he did not know if the three-member commission would appoint Frederick, undersheriff John Summers or anyone else to serve as interim sheriff until after the election.
Macdonald said he would consult with assistant county attorney Jordan Knudsen prior to the meeting.
The commissioners meet at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16.