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Spotted Bird Sentenced, Several Others Appear In District Court

Ryan Cherokee Spotted Bird, 27, of Brockton, was sentenced in district court on Thursday, Nov. 12, after not following the conditions of his probation.

Spotted Bird originally received a five-year deferred sentence for the charges of criminal mischief and criminal endangerment. He made guilty pleas on Nov. 12, to not reporting with his probation officer and leaving his assigned district without permission.

Roosevelt County Deputy Attorney Frank Piocos said the original charges stem from an incident when Spotted Bird drove into a sheriff deputy’s vehicle.

Bruce Barstad, probation officer, said that Spotted Bird has performed very poorly in the community. He described Spotted Bird as a risk and danger to society.

Defense attorney Cynthia Thornton noted that Spotted Bird needs to address chemical dependency issues.

District Judge David Cybulski sentenced Spotted Bird to 10 years with the Montana Department of Corrections for each count. Six years are to be suspended. The sentences for the two counts will run concurrently.

“Mr. Spotted Bird, it’s time to change the plan and work on improving your life,” Cybulski said. “If you do a good job of learning, I think they will move you to probation faster than you can imagine.”

In other cases heard on Thursday, Nov. 12: The trial date for Richard Lamar Rutledge, 46, of Culbertson, was decided during a hearing in district court. Rutledge is facing two counts of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of incest.

Defense attorney Matthew Claus suggested a trial date in January, but Roosevelt County Deputy Attorney Frank Piocos opposed that idea.

“We were thinking more in March, because we don’t have a county attorney,” Piocos said. Roosevelt County Attorney Austin Knudsen will leave the office at the end of December to served as Montana’s Attorney General.

It was agreed to start the trial on March 15.

Because each side will have several expert witnesses, parties feel the trial will last five days.

“We’ve always seen it as a five-day trial,” Claus said during the hearing.

Piocos added, “We would like to do it in four, but I think it will take five.”

Jerry Allan Stone Jr., 37, of Culbertson, made not guilty pleas to the charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

If found guilty of the charge, maximum penalty is five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

An omnibus hearing was scheduled for Jan. 13. The trial is set for March 11.

His bond was reduced from $25,000 to $10,000.

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