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Defendants Deliver Pleas During Hearings

Paul Douglas Nygaard of Wolf Point changed his plea to guilty on a felony charge during a district court hearing on Wednesday, July 12.

He made the plea of guilty to criminal distribution of dangerous drugs by accountability.

Maximum penalties for the offense are 25 years in prison, a $50,000 or both. He made his plea through video conferencing since he is undergoing treatment. Judge David Cybulski ordered a pre-sentencing investigation.

Joseph Dale William Miller made not guilty pleas to 10 charges, including five felonies, during a hearing in district court on Wednesday, July 12.

Felony charges, which were filed on Thursday, May 11, include two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and one count of criminal possession with intent to distribute, assault of a peace officer and use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture.

Maximum penalties for the possession of dangerous drugs charges are five years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

Maximum penalty for the distribution charge is 20 years in prison, a $50,000 fine or both.

Penalties for assault of an officer are 2 to 10 years in prison, a $50,000 fine or both.

According to court documents, the Montana Highway Patrol observed a pickup on April 27 that was traveling faster than the posted speed limit on U.S. Highway 2. When the highway patrol trooper attempted to catch up to the pickup, the vehicle was weaving in its lane and jerking back toward the center of the lane.

The highway patrol trooper followed the vehicle for some time and it didn’t pull over until hitting the brakes near mile marker 596. The pickup went down into the ditch before coming to a stop.

After the decision was made to arrest him, officers tried to handcuff him. Miller ran toward the open door of his pickup. Officers started to struggle with Miller. He made it into the driver’s seat, hit the accelerator and revved the engine.

The trooper saw an opportunity to deploy a taser on Miller and both probes of the taser connected into his left upper arm. Miller continued fighting and the taser was used again in the effort to arrest him.

Doreen Ruby Blackdog, 18, Poplar, made not guilty pleas to the charges of felony theft and the misdemeanor charge of driving without a valid license.

She is charged with taking a 2014 Focus, a wallet and a cellphone May 25 without permission from a male.

If convicted of the felony charge, Blackdog faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.

An omnibus hearing was scheduled for Sept. 13. A trial was set for Nov. 16.

Her bond was reduced from $75,000 to $15,000.

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