KALISPELL — The woman charged with hitting and severely injuring a child while she was getting off a school bus near Whitefish entered an Alford Plea on Thursday in Flathead County District Court.
Patricia Berliner, whose vehicle hit 6-year-old Jordana Hubble in early November of 2019, originally pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony criminal endangerment in April of 2020 and was released on her own recognizance.
In October of 2020, Berliner’s attorney Alisha Rapkoch filed a joint motion to refer the case to mediation after consulting with Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner.
Judge Dan Wilson said both parties came to an agreement in mediation with a resolution to prevent a jury trial.
By entering an Alford Plea, Berliner does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence.
Court documents state Jordana “was reportedly thrown approximately 60 feet from the point of impact to where she came to rest in the ditch.”
Jordana was taken to Nexus Children’s Hospital in Houston in January of 2020 to continue her recovery from the injuries she sustained in the incident.
She returned home to Olney in August to continue treatment.
Berliner’s sentencing is set for June 10.
The charge filed carries a maximum term in the Montana State Prison of 10 years and a maximum fine of $50,000.