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HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court has ordered a District Court in northwestern Montana to dismiss an aggravated assault charge against a state prison inmate who pleaded no contest to hitting a bicyclist with his car in May 2016.

The court said Tuesday that too much time passed between Brian Thomas Norvell's arrest and his first court appearance. Lincoln County prosecutors can re-file the charge.

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Norvell was sentenced to 25 years in prison for striking a bicyclist on the highway south of Eureka. Prosecutors say Norvell took the victim's wallet and drove away to hide his car.

Officers said he returned to the scene, handed the wallet to a trooper and confessed to hitting the victim, who suffered two skull fractures, road rash, and broken bones in his ankle and foot.

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