A Butte man with eight previous drunken-driving convictions nearly smacked into a car driven by Rosebud County Sheriff Allen Fulton as they were pulling into the Town Pump in Rocker around 3 p.m. Tuesday, police say.
Fulton quickly deduced that 61-year-old Everett Leroy Jones was highly intoxicated so the sheriff removed the keys from the ignition of Jones’ car and called Butte police.
When they arrived, Jones and his female passenger were passed out, police say. She awoke easily but it took officers some time to wake up Jones. When he did come to, he failed field-sobriety tests, was taken to jail and later charged with felony DUI, fourth or subsequent offense.
According to the charging document, Jones was convicted of drunken driving in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2002. He was arrested and charged for DUI again in 2015 but the case was ultimately dismissed.
Jones is also awaiting sentencing on two separate criminal cases, one involving felony partner-family member assault in 2018 and one for possession of dangerous drugs last year.
In a previous plea agreement, prosecutors recommended a combined five-year suspended sentence for both cases but the judge has not yet imposed a sentence.
And because of the new DUI charge, prosecutors can void the plea deal.
If convicted of the latest DUI, the maximum sentence he can receive is five years in prison, prosecutors say.
In the 2015 DUI charge, Butte police were told that two people involved in a disturbance at the Corner Bar on Montana Street had left there on a June afternoon and Jones had followed them in an RV.
The officer saw the RV, said he could seem some commotion inside and pulled it over. Jones was behind the wheel, appeared to be intoxicated and a breathalyzer showed a blood-alcohol content of .168 — more than twice the legal limit, police said.
But District Court Judge Kurt Krueger ruled later that the officer didn’t have sufficient cause to make the stop. Jones wasn’t believed to be part of the disturbance at the bar, the judge said, and there was no swerving or other signs the RV’s driver was drunk.
He said all evidence against Jones as a result of the stop had to be suppressed so prosecutors dropped the charge.
Jones was being held in the Butte Detention Center on the new charge with bond set at $30,000. The maximum penalty if convicted is five years in prison, prosecutors say.
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