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Flathead woman charged in 2017 murder accepts plea deal - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Flathead woman charged in 2017 murder accepts plea deal

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KALISPELL - A Flathead County woman charged in connection with a murder that took place last year near the Old Steel Bridge in Evergreen has accepted a plea deal.

Heather Joy Meeker’s tampering with evidence charges was dropped Wednesday in Flathead District Court and she was released from jail. 

As part of the plea deal, Meeker, 25, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor bail jumping charge and was sentenced to six months behind bars but was released for time served. She was charged with felony bail jumping after failing to appear at a pre-trial conference in July.

Meeker was the girlfriend of Cecil Thomas Rice and was present when Rice pushed another man, Andrew Walthers, 34, off a bridge into the Flathead River in Evergreen in April.

Meeker told detectives Rice was upset over an inappropriate comment Walthers made about her earlier in the day. Walthers drowned in the fast-moving and frigid water.

After leaving the scene of the crime, Meeker allegedly found a backpack she believed belonged to Walthers and threw it out the window of a moving vehicle.

Rice was convicted of deliberate homicide in December and is due in court for sentencing later this month.

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