District Court Brief
Two Men Sentenced, Trial Date Set for Witkowski
On Monday morning a sentencing hearing was held for Adam Kelley in District Court in Glasgow. Kelley was convicted earlier this year on theft charges stemming from stealing items from several garages around Glasgow, and ultimately resulting in the theft of a vehicle. The vehicle and Kelley were located in Roundup, Montana, where Kelley faced an additional charge of Possession of Methamphetamine.
Entering into a plea agreement for all of his charges, Kelley was given 5 years suspended with the Department of Corrections and a $1,000 fine for felony theft, and received 6 months with all but 30 days suspended and a $1,000 fine for misdemeanor theft credited with time served. He was also sentenced at the Valley County Courthouse for his conviction of Possession of Methamphetamine he received in Mussellshell County, for which he received 2 years suspended with the Department of Corrections.
Also sentenced on Monday was James Yoss, whom entered into a plea agreement in exchange for a reduction in charges. The crime was a third felony offense for Yoss, with his prior offenses being similar types of crimes that also involved substance abuse. Despite his previous convictions and committing the offense while on a suspended sentence, the prosecution felt sympathy for Yoss whom suffers from mental illness. Yoss was allowed to speak to the court about his circumstances with his illness during the hearing. Most notably he testified about an adjustment made to his medications after being incarcerated that have had better results treating his symptom and his testimony was also confirmed by the prosecutor in the case Dylan Jensen.
Despite testimony of an improvement in his condition from both sides of the court, Judge Yvonne Laird deemed the sentence request of three years with charges running concurrent in the plea agreement to be insufficient for the matter. Judge Laird decided that a sentence of four years and a fine of $1,000 for criminal endangerment, and four years and $1,000 fine for intimidation to run concurrent and in continuation of the of the sentence he is currently still serving to be an adequate punishment for the crime. Judge Laird also stated that the court will recomend Yoss to enter into a treatment program while incarcerated to address his substance abuse problems.
An omnibus hearing was also held for the upcoming trial against Jay Witkowski. Witkowski is facing charges stemming from an incident that resulted in the death of a local woman in January. During the hearing a trial date was set for August 21, with the trial expected to take 5 days.