July 9 Regional News Briefs

Monday, July 9, 2018

Officer resigns, sentenced for violating restraining order

BOZEMAN (AP) — A Bozeman police officer resigned from the department before he was sentenced for violating a restraining order involving his ex-wife. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports 35-year-old Nathanael Gaukler was given a one-year deferred sentence Friday for violating the order. A deferred sentence means that if he abides by the conditions of his sentence, he can later request to have the charge dismissed. Gaukler had been on administrative leave since he was arrested Aug. 19 for allegedly threatening his ex-wife during an argument. The charge was later dismissed. Gaukler was then cited in December for violating the protection order after his ex-wife reported to the Belgrade Police Department that he drove by her while she was in the parking lot of her work.

Montana wildlife officials kill food-conditioned grizzly

KALISPELL (AP) — Wildlife officials have captured and killed a grizzly bear in northwestern Montana after concluding that it had become habituated to people and posed a safety risk. The bear was the third euthanized this week. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say the 4-year-old male grizzly was captured near Trego on Wednesday and euthanized at a veterinary clinic the next day. FWP officials said in a statement Friday that the bear was approaching residences, broke a window and tried to enter a shed. It was undeterred by attempts to haze it away. FWP officials also killed a male grizzly south of Condon after capturing it Monday for being food-conditioned and habituated to people. A black bear was euthanized Tuesday after being captured in Hyalite Canyon for being unafraid of people.

Tribal judge fired after child’s death suing tribal leaders

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A former Oglala Sioux judge is suing tribal leaders in tribal court, saying she was illegally terminated. The tribal council fired Chief Judge Kimberly Craven and two other judges in October 2016 following complaints about their handling of a 2-year-old boy’s custody case. The boy was later killed by his mother. The Rapid City Journal reports that Craven maintains the council improperly fired her. She’s seeking to either be paid $500,000 in damages or be reinstated and paid for lost wages, benefits and attorney fees. Tribal leaders have asked the court to dismiss her case. In the case of 2-year-old Kylen Shangreaux, mother Katrina Shangreaux pleaded guilty in March to a federal charge of seconddegree murder and is waiting to be sentenced.

Sioux Falls man pleads not guilty in kidnapping case

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Sioux Falls man has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and assault after he allegedly kept a woman captive in his apartment for several days. Fifty-nine-year-old Kermit Lewis is accused of second-degree kidnapping and four counts of assault. State’s Attorney Audie Murphy says Lewis abused the woman, including beating her with a brush. The victim also told police she had been sexually assaulted. Officers are still investigating and no sexual assault charge has been filed yet. The woman told police she met Lewis at a bar on June 29, but said he wouldn’t let her leave his residence until Thursday morning.

Absentee voting for Wyoming primary election underway

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office says absentee voting is now open for the August primary election. Wyoming allows any registered Wyoming voter the ability to request and then cast an absentee ballot through their county clerk either by mail or in-person at a county clerk’s office. Absentee voting for the Aug. 21 primary began on Friday and continues until Aug. 20. Requests for absentee ballots may be made to a county clerk’s office by phone, email, fax or in person. Additionally, several counties will open absentee polling places that will remain open until the day before Election Day.

Former Wyoming DCI agent files discrimination lawsuit

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A former special agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation says he was discriminated against and forced to step down from the agency because he’s Hispanic. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports Shawn Puente sued in district court last week claiming that his commander called him a slur referring to Mexican-Americans and that he received poor performance reviews between 2011 and August 2014. The lawsuit also states that in October 2014, supervisors told Puente that he would be transferred from Cheyenne to Casper, a move “not justified by a legitimate reason.” Puente filed a discrimination complaint and was told about two months later the agency planned to dismiss him. After receiving that notice, he resigned. Attorney General Peter Michael, whose office will represent DCI in the case, declined to comment.

Lawsuit: Charging students fees violates Idaho Constitution

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A class action lawsuit has been filed in federal court, urging Idaho school districts to stop charging students fees. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports the lawsuit, filed by former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Robert Huntley, names every school district in Idaho as defendants, and posits every K-12 student in Idaho, plus their parents or guardians, as plaintiffs whose rights have been violated. Huntley says the practice of charging students fees violates the Idaho Constitution. The Coeur d’Alene School District, Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, Post Falls School District, North Idaho STEM Charter Academy, Lakeland School District, and other local public school districts have all been named as defendants. Their spokespeople had no comment.