A man sentenced in 2012 for his 10th DUI offense and who is now facing a new set of accusations — including that he started a brush fire with his car while attempting to evade police — made an initial appearance in Anaconda district court Wednesday.
Bryan Kelvin Hutchinson, 56, is facing five counts of felony negligent arson in relation to an incident that occurred Aug 4.
According to court documents, police responded to an area near the Church of Christ on Stumptown Road in response to a report that a man, later identified as Hutchinson, had rammed a gate with his car and descended off the road on to a hill leading to a creek.
The documents say that when police arrived they observed that Hutchinson’s vehicle was stuck and that the 56-year-old was revving his engine and spinning his wheels in an attempt to break free.
After being confronted by police, Hutchinson allegedly refused to get out of the vehicle and continued to spin his tires. “He then started to reach inside of the vehicle where officers could not see his hands, telling the officers to kill him,” court documents say.
According to Hutchinson’s affidavit, as the 56-year-old continued to rev his engine smoke began to appear from the rear of the vehicle. Officer’s pepper sprayed the man, but Hutchinson still refused to exit the vehicle. At this time, officers also observed Hutchinson allegedly drinking a can of Steele Reserve.
Eventually, documents say, the brush surrounding the vehicle ignited and the vehicle appeared as though it would soon be engulfed in flames. Police attempted to pull Hutchinson from his truck, but he refused and grabbed onto the sides of the vehicle.
The documents state that police were finally able to pull Hutchinson from the car after they shot him with a Taser. At that time, three-fourths of the car were on fire, according to police accounts.
Police later determined that Hutchinson was driving with a suspended or revoked license and without insurance.
Court documents also state that officers believed he was driving under the influence and that he appeared dazed and “his speech was incoherent, slurred and laced with profanity.” Hutchinson allegedly refused field sobriety tests, but police obtained a warrant for a blood test and are currently awaiting the results.
On Wednesday Hutchinson pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license, driving without insurance and criminal mischief. He also pleaded not guilty to a fourth-or-subsequent DUI charge and five counts of felony negligent arson.
In 2012 The Billings Gazette reported that Hutchinson was sentenced to eight years with the Montana Department of Corrections with three years suspended for a felony DUI – his 10th drunken-driving-related offense.
In that case, Prosecutors said Hutchinson had nine prior DUI convictions dating back to 1985. Most of the convictions were in New Mexico, with one prior conviction in Wyoming in 2010, the Gazette reported.
Meanwhile, Hutchinson remains in Anaconda Deer-Lodge County jail.
Judge Ray Dayton set Hutchinson’s bail Wednesday for $15,000 and scheduled an omnibus hearing for Sept. 27th.