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Woman who drove at officer gets deferred sentence
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Woman who drove at officer gets deferred sentence

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A Butte woman apologized for driving her car at a police officer and another person last August, telling a judge Thursday she made a big mistake that day.

“I am extremely ashamed and embarrassed for myself,” Deanna Christine Hinton, 44, told District Court Judge Kurt Krueger before he gave her a three-year deferred sentence for two felony counts of criminal endangerment.

He also gave her 76 days in jail — time she had already served through Thursday — for one misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Police said they were on “civil standby” at a residence in the 1600 block of North Main Street on Aug. 24 because a woman was fighting with Hinton and wanted to grab some of her belongings.

Hinton came speeding by in a stolen pickup, was not slowing down and came directly at the officer, prosecutors say. When he drew his pistol, she veered and went straight for the woman, barely missing her.

Hinton told Krueger she was under the influence of alcohol when it happened and was ashamed but said she could be a “productive member of society again.”

Krueger said she had a “quite a long time of sobriety” before relapsing and asked if she would take part in the SMART drug-treatment program if he gave her the deferred sentence. She said she would.

“I am going to take this time in the next two or three years and even longer to get to know myself again,” she said.

If offenders complete probation and other terms of a deferred sentence, a judge can allow them to change their pleas to not guilty and dismiss the case. If people violate terms, a judge can impose the maximum penalty allowed by law. Criminal endangerment is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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