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Man Pleads Not Guilty To Criminal Endangerment

Edwin Alexander Mendez made not guilty pleas to the charges of criminal endangerment and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs first offense during a hearing in district court on Wednesday, July 13.

A trial has been scheduled for Oct. 13.

According to court documents, Mendez was traveling north on Montana Highway 25 in a 2011 Ford F250 pickup truck on May 19. For an unknown reason, the truck exited the roadway to the right and struck a delineator post. He lost control of the truck and it vaulted on County Road 1071 before overturning causing injury to the passenger.

On May 23, the defendant’s blood sample was sent to the Montana State Crime Lab for testing. On June 1, a toxicology report was performed and completed. The defendant’s BAC was 0.148 percent, almost twice the legal limit.

If convicted of the criminal endangerment charge, a felony, maximum penalties are a fine of $50,000, a sentence of 10 years or both.

The DUI charge shall be punished by not less than 24 hours or more than six months in jail and by a fine of not less than $600 or more than $1,000.

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