Law

A judge sentenced a man to seven years in prison Tuesday for assaulting Undersheriff George Skuletich in the Butte-Silver Bow Courthouse in 2016.

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Mitchell Booth

Booth

District Judge Brad Newman ordered that Mitchell Jerome Booth, 61, be sent to the Montana State Prison for seven years, minus 344 days for jail time already served.

Last March, just before his jury trial was to start, Booth pleaded guilty to assaulting Skuletich in the courthouse on Feb. 16, 2016.

Booth, wanted on a warrant at the time, was just outside City Court on the fourth floor that day when Skuletich and other officers arrived, according to prosecutors. They said he had a history of aggression toward law enforcement.

He started yelling at the officers then struck Skuletich with a walking cane and punched him in the face before pushing him into a window, causing it to shatter, prosecutors said.

He was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer, a felony, and misdemeanors including resisting arrest, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

Booth represented himself and when pleading guilty to the felony, said he had no recollection of the incident. But he said he had reviewed the prosecution’s evidence, which included body camera footage, and determined he could not contend the charges.

"I have no remembrance at all of the entire incident," Booth told Newman at the time. "I don't even remember walking into the courthouse that day."

Booth apologized to Skuletich and shook his hand during that hearing, saying he did not remember the incident.

But Newman, with a presentence investigation completed, sentenced Booth to prison. The misdemeanor charges were dismissed.

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Government and politics reporter

Reporter with emphasis on government and politics.

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