Author’s case over rape records goes to Montana high court
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s higher education commissioner is asking the Montana Supreme Court to deny “Into the Wild” author Jon Krakauer documents that could show whether the commissioner reversed a decision to expel a University of Montana quarterback accused of rape.
The court takes up the case Wednesday in Bozeman, after a Helena judge ruled Krakauer is entitled to the documents under Montana’s public-records laws. Krakauer had sought the records for his 2015 book “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.”
Commissioner Clayton Christian is appealing that ruling, saying the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act prohibits his office from releasing confidential criminal justice information.
Christian’s attorneys say releasing the documents could jeopardize federal funding and that Krakauer has no rights under Montana’s public-records laws because he is a Colorado citizen.
Krakauer told The Associated Press Tuesday that he hopes the outcome of the case will increase transparency on how universities deal with rape.
APNewsBreak: Woman to be charged with murder in baby’s death
POPLAR, Mont. (AP) — A prosecutor says a woman on a Montana American Indian reservation will be charged with murder in the beating death of a 13-month-old girl.
Fort Peck Tribes Chief Prosecutor Scott Seifert said Tuesday that 42-year-old Janelle Red Dog could face additional charges at a later date.
Red Dog’s attorney, Mary Zemyan, says her client will plead not guilty during a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday. Zemyan has noted the baby’s cause of death is unclear.
Red Dog is accused of beating to death Kenzley Olson while the girl was under her care, then putting the body into a dumpster and reporting Kenzley missing.
Tribal law allows for a maximum three-year prison sentence on any one charge. Separate federal charges also are expected in the case.
The baby’s mother was in jail on unspecified allegations when she died.
Man convicted of killing deputy pleads guilty in drug case
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A man who was convicted of killing a Cascade County sheriff’s deputy in 2014 has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and weapons charges.
The Great Falls Tribune reports that Adam Sanchez appeared in court Tuesday for a change of plea hearing. He pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
As part of Sanchez’s plea deal, prosecutors have agreed to not prosecute Sanchez’s mother, Susan Sanchez, for any role she may have played in his crimes.
Sanchez faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $10 million fine when he’s sentenced July 28.
He’s already serving a life sentence for the death of 33-year-old Deputy Joe Dunn during a high-speed chase.
Ex-UM football player to be paroled after completing program
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A former University of Montana football player who pleaded guilty to rape in 2010 will be granted parole after he completes a pre-release program in Billings.
The Missoulian reports that the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole decided Thursday to allow Beau Donaldson to be released on parole after he finishes his time at the Billings Pre-Release Center.
Last year, the board had denied Donaldson’s request for parole and instead allowed him to attend a boot camp and a 100-day aftercare program. He was then transferred to the pre-release center, where he has been since Dec. 9. Parole board analyst Julie Thomas says the program usually takes about six months.
Donaldson was sentenced in 2013 to 30 years in prison with 20 suspended for the rape of an acquaintance.
FBI, police investigate theft at Rocky Boy pharmacy
HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — The FBI and Rocky Boy Police say two intruders broke into the Chippewa Cree Health Center Pharmacy and stole several medications over the weekend.
Misty Denny, a spokesperson for the Rocky Boy Health Board, tells the Havre Daily News the break-in happened early Saturday morning, and the thieves stole medications in both pill and liquid form, along with intravenous drugs meant to treat people with heart problems and other serious medical ailments.
Surveillance cameras captured images of two people wearing masks in the building, which they rummaged through for about three hours.
Denny says the medications could be dangerous to people they are not meant for.
Man pleads guilty to fatally shooting former girlfriend
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A 35-year-old Bozeman man has pleaded guilty to breaking into his former girlfriend’s house in violation of a restraining order and shooting her to death as she tried to hide in her closet.
Anthony Fagiano pleaded guilty Tuesday to deliberate homicide, aggravated burglary, theft and violating an order of protection in the March 9 death of 37-year-old Darcy Buhmann. There is no plea agreement in the case.
District Judge Holly Brown scheduled Fagiano’s sentencing for June 23. Prosecutors said they plan to recommend a 160-year prison sentence.
Charging documents say after the shooting Fagiano texted family members and Buhmann’s estranged husband to tell them he’d killed her. Fagiano’s sister talked him into surrendering to police.