MISSOULA – A Big Sky High School student involved in a chase with a Missoula School Resource Officer who shot at his car in March has admitted to charges involved in the case.
The juvenile male entered an Alford Plea on Tuesday to one count of criminal endangerment, which means he maintains his denial but believes it is in his best interest to resolve the case.
Missoula Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Clark told MTN News that Tuesday’s plea came after the student reached an agreement with prosecutors. The juvenile is free pending the resolution of the charges.
Clark petitioned the court to revoke his release because of reports he was using marijuana but Judge Karen Townsend denied the request. However, as a condition of the teen’s release, he cannot consume drugs.
Because he’s a juvenile, MTN News is not identifying the student.
Court documents state that a juvenile probation officer and the Big Sky High School Resource Officer were conducting a probation search on March 16th after a picture showed the 17-year-old holding a large sum of cash and a gun.
Officers suspected the student was involved in dealing drugs.
The student ran out of the school, got into his car and almost struck the SRO before driving away on South Avenue. The officer fired his weapon at the vehicle, blowing out the back window of the car.
While driving on South Avenue, the teen drove up on the lawn near Old Fort Road almost striking a pedestrian before crashing his vehicle a short time later at the Honda dealership on South Reserve Street.
A black 9mm handgun was recovered near Old Fort Road and South Avenue that is said to belong to the teen. Officers also found 2.1 grams of cocaine and over $1,000 in cash. The student admitted he threw the gun out of his car.
He will be sentenced August 28th.
Reporting by Melissa Rafferty for MTN News