A judge sentenced a Billings man to five years with the Montana Department of Corrections on Wednesday for a string of violent and threatening actions toward a girlfriend.
Kevin Lee Foster, 46, was accused of sending threatening and vulgar text messages to the woman in Butte in October 2019, ramming his car into hers and trashing her house, among other things.
He was convicted of felony partner-family member assault, third or subsequent offense, and in a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped felony counts of criminal endangerment and privacy in communications.
But Samm Cox, the lead prosecutor in the case, said a five-year sentence was appropriate because Foster had a lengthy criminal record. He was already on parole for assaulting a peace officer, among other things, when the additional crimes occurred in Butte.
“We do believe it (the sentence) is necessary for protection of the victim in this case as well as society,” Cox told District Judge Robert Whelan.
Jamie Upham, Foster’s public defender, said her client had substance-abuse issues, had relapsed, and the sentence would allow him to address those problems through a DOC program.
Foster, appearing from jail via videoconference because of coronavirus concerns, told Whelan he had started addressing his substance abuse again while in jail.
“One thing I learned was as soon as I stop blaming everyone and everything for my choices in life, that’s when I can move forward,” he said.
Whelan agreed to the five-year sentence and gave Foster 202 days credit for time already served in jail.
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