Helena man in court says medical treatments changed his behavior

HELENA – A defendant with an extensive criminal record and a reputation for courtroom outbursts seemed to be a different person Tuesday.

Leslie Mabrey was charged with violating a Helena District Court suspended sentence after he was arrested in Idaho in 2017 for allegedly threatening a store clerk with a gun, demanding a ride to Canada.

He was also charged with failing to register as a violent offender.

Tuesday in court his defense lawyers told Judge Mike Menahan that treatments for Hepatitus-C at the Lewis and Clark County jail have changed Mabrey’s behavior.

According to medical experts, a buildup of ammonia in the liver can cause an individual to have delusions. Mabrey’s defense lawyers argued to the court that Mabrey’s past anti-social and paranoid behavior were due to his previously undiagnosed medical condition.

In previous court appearances over the years, Mabrey was known for his loud and lengthy diatribes.

Lewis and Clark jail officials told the court following his treatments this summer, Mabrey’s behavior has changed for the better.

The now soft-spoken Mabrey apologized to Judge Menahan for his past behavior. He told the judge he wanted to follow the rules of probation and parole and return to his home in North Carolina, where he can die. Mabrey says he suffers from terminal liver disease.

Prosecutor Ann Penner asked the Judge for a Department of Corrections commitment, saying otherwise, quote, “We’ll all be back here in 60-days.”

Judge Menahan noted Mabrey’s change in demeanor, saying there’s a cause and effect regarding his medical treatments.

Judge Menahan gave Mabrey suspended sentences on a petition to revoke a 2014 case for threatening public officials and his 2017 case for failure to register as a violent offender.

Mabrey was given 359-days credit for time served.

Mabrey said he’ll petition to serve out his sentence in North Carolina.

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