DEER LODGE — Jennifer Don Smith, 33, of Kalispell pleaded guilty recently in Deer Lodge district court to misdemeanor theft and identity theft and felony forgery by common scheme.
A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered, and she is free on recognizance, with conditions, allowing her to return to Kalispell and deal with court proceedings there.
She admitted that in May 2016 she removed a checkbook and driver’s license from a Deer Lodge residence then forged the owner’s signature on a number of checks written to businesses in Powell, Silver Bow, and Missoula Counties.
In other court action:
• Darren Lee Green, 42, of Deer Lodge pleaded not guilty to partner or family member assault, third offense, a felony, and tampering with a communication device, a misdemeanor.
According to court records, a man allegedly stopped by Green’s residence to say the female victim owed the man money for drugs and threatened to burn down the trailer home if he didn’t get paid. After the victim’s mother dropped the victim off at Green's trailer, Green allegedly began screaming at the victim; hit her; and threw a boot, injuring her face, head, and neck. When she tried to call for help, he allegedly grabbed her phone to prevent it.
• Frankie Dwain Akines, 54, of East Helena pleaded not guilty to felony charges of theft by common scheme and criminal mischief.
According to court records, Akines is accused of causing damage to a rented home in Deer Lodge. On May 8, 2017, the owner reported an accumulation of rabbit and pig feces and urine damage throughout the house; shredded draperies; and a broken screen door, banister, and sprinkler system where removed pipes and fixtures had allowed water to run down the walls onto the floor — damage in excess of $30,000. Items stolen from the storage shed included hedge trimmers, ladders, vinyl flooring, a shelving unit, a grass trimmer, and a linen closet removed from inside the house, valued at $2,700.
Akines is free on recognizance, with conditions, pending further court proceedings.
• William Colter Lowery, 22, of Deer Lodge was given a three-year deferred sentence with conditions that include no contact with the victim, obtaining chemical dependency and mental health evaluations at his expense, and following recommendations. Lowery will be under supervision of the adult parole and probation bureau during the deferred period.
On June 6, 2017, he pleaded guilty to felony intimidation. According to court records, a teenager was walking home when Lowery picked him up and drove to his garage. The teen wanted to go home. Lowery didn’t take him home but offered him a drug to smoke, stating it would calm him down. When the boy smoked it, the record states he had difficulty breathing, his body began shaking, and he soon felt numb all over. Eventually Lowery gave him a ride home but threatened the teen not to say anything about the drugs he had given him or he “would never speak again” and pulled up his shirt to reveal a knife.
• Randolph Gerald Wall, 65, of Helena was sentenced for sixth offense DUI, a felony, to a five-year commitment with the Department of Corrections. The sentence was suspended on condition Wall successfully complete an approved treatment program. Wall is participating in treatment at Veterans Court Treatment Program in Helena, and Judge Ray Dayton recommended he continue there. A $5,000 fine was suspended, but Wall must pay $560 in court fees and $493 restitution for medical treatment not covered by insurance for the passenger in his vehicle at the time of an accident on U.S. Highway 12.
• Crystal Kline, 35, pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of drugs, careless driving, failure to have proof of insurance, and operating a vehicle with expired registration, all misdemeanors.
According to court records, at 8 p.m. Dec. 10, 2017, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper stopped a vehicle for erratic driving on Interstate 90; Kline was the driver. The trooper allegedly observed behavior and physical signs indicative of drug use as well as open suitcases, clothing, and food containers strewn about and items commonly used by drug users. There was no sign of alcohol on a breath test, but Klinen exhibited seven of eight clues for impairment by dangerous drugs, the record states.
Kline is in jail on $10,000 bond and is also awaiting sentencing for a crime in Anaconda.
• Cory Henry Atkins, 39, of Deer Lodge was sentenced for felony DUI, seventh offense, to a five-year commitment with the Department of Corrections with no time suspended; he was given credit for 33 days served. He was fined $5,000.