July 26 Montana News Briefs

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Great Falls asks sheriff to reverse jail overcrowding order

GREAT FALLS (AP) — The city attorney for Great Falls is asking the Cascade County sheriff to reverse an order saying the overcrowded jail would no longer book people charged with misdemeanors, non-violent offenses and parole violations. City Attorney Sara Sexe questions the legality of Sheriff Bob Edwards’ mandate because state law requires jail administrators to receive people committed to jail and hold them until they are legally discharged. She argues the jail is being paid to house out-of-state and out-of-county inmates while turning away inmates ordered held by city courts. Cascade County Attorney Josh Racki says the county believes the sheriff’s order is legal. Edwards says the jail, which was built for 360 inmates, held 530 on Monday and tensions were rising among jail staff and inmates. The Great Falls Tribune reports a meeting to discuss the issue is planned for Friday.

Grizzly relocated to grow numbers in northwest Montana

KALISPELL (AP) — A young bruin has been relocated to northwest Montana to boost the sparse population of grizzly bears in the Cabinet-Yaak Mountains. The Flathead Beacon reports it’s the 20th bear to join the region near the Montana-Idaho border under an augmentation program that began in 1990. It had been two years since another bear was added to the ecosystem. The latest bear did not have any prior conflicts with humans. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured the bear in a remote area in the Flathead National Forest. The young, male bear was introduced to his new home July 21. The augmentation program began in response to a diminishing grizzly population. Biologists say there were fewer than 15 grizzlies in the Cabinet-Yaak in 1988.

Missoula man charged after 2-year-old found in hot car

MISSOULA (AP) — A Missoula man is charged with felony criminal endangerment after his 2-year-old son was found in a hot van outside a grocery store. Firefighters broke the window to rescue the child Monday and 31-year-old William Raynold Adams was arrested when he returned to the vehicle. He is also charged with marijuana possession and stealing two candy bars from the store. Adams told officers he did not know the boy was in the van and that his girlfriend must have put him in there. Adams’ girlfriend, the boy’s mother, told officers she asked Adams to take the boy with him and he put him in the car seat. The boy was treated for dehydration. The Missoulian reports Adams did not enter a plea during his appearance in Justice Court on Wednesday and was released without bail.

Zinke to honor tribal officers in Fargo, talk about opioids

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is planning a trip to North Dakota to honor tribal law enforcement officers. A ceremony is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the federal building in downtown Fargo, where Zinke plans to recognize four reservation officers. Afterward, Zinke has scheduled a meeting with North Dakota tribal leaders to talk about drug abuse. Zinke, a former congressman from Montana, has held other discussions this year with Native American representatives on ways to combat the opioid crisis. He has said that tribal communities are disproportionately hurt by the situation and has pledged assistance from federal law enforcement. Interior Department officials did not respond to a request seeking further information about Zinke’s visit.

Helena man pleads guilty to killing his parents

HELENA (AP) — A 21-year-old Helena man pleaded guilty to deliberate homicide for killing his parents at their home north of Helena in March. Kaleb David Taylor entered his pleas Wednesday in the March 18 deaths of David and Charla Taylor via video from the Montana State Prison. At the time, Taylor was on conditional release from prison for taking about $15,000 in items from his parents’ house in September 2015. He was returned to prison after his arrest. Prosecutors believe Taylor’s parents had confronted him about stealing from their business on March 10. Taylor said he took money because he’d been threatened over a drug debt. In court, Taylor acknowledged his guilt by saying: “I made a mistake and took two people’s lives.” District Judge Mike Menahan has not scheduled a sentencing date.

Authorities ID victims in fatal crash during police chase

BILLINGS (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Montana have released the names of two people who died in a rollover crash that happened while they were fleeing a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer. Rosebud County Sheriff Alan Fulton tells The Billings Gazette that 35-year-old Naomi Killsnight of Lame Deer, and her passenger, 25-year-old Morningstar Killsnight of Billings, died in the crash Monday afternoon on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Autopsies were planned on Wednesday. The Montana Highway Patrol says the BIA tried to pull over the pickup truck after receiving a report of a possible intoxicated driver near Lame Deer. Officials say Naomi Killsnight lost control of the pickup during the pursuit. A 26-year-old woman, two 16-year-old boys and a 6-year-old child in the pickup were taken to a Billings hospital for treatment.