Court News

Dec 13, 2012 12:31 PM by Irina Cates - KPAX News

Judge rejects plea deal in Missoula DUI case

MISSOULA - A Missoula District Court judge has rejected a plea agreement between the prosecutors and a man who's accused of driving drunk over a Missoula footbridge and hitting a pedestrian.

Paul Amyotte looked surprised Wednesday when Judge Ed McLean rejected the plea deal in his case. Amyotte pleaded guilty earlier this year to criminal endangerment and negligent vehicular assault for last February's incident.

Prosecutors say Amyotte's crime scene was a mile long: beginning in the Burger King parking lot on East Broadway, crossing through the barriers of the Van Buren Footbridge and onto the Kim Williams Trail, where he allegedly hit a 21-year-old man.

Amyotte allegedly than drove over two traffic circles in the University District and then crashed.

His plea agreement called for five years in the Department of Corrections followed by 10 years of probation, but the judge said he wanted Amyotte to serve time in prison.

"You have the right to withdraw your plea of guilty, re-enter your plea of not guilty. You have the right to proceed to trial or you may have a week to think that over," McLean said.

Amyotte chose to talk his decision over with an attorney before he proceeds in this case. Meanwhile, McLean told prosecutors he wants to hear from the victim's family at sentencing.

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