After initially blaming disabled stepson, man pleads guilty to DUI

2014-06-27T10:26:00Z 2014-06-28T00:24:09Z After initially blaming disabled stepson, man pleads guilty to DUIBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A Billings man prosecutors say twice crashed into a ditch while driving drunk with his disabled stepson in the vehicle last July pleaded guilty to DUI and endangerment charges on Friday.

Appearing before District Judge Ingrid Gustafson, Clifford Raymond Edwards Jr. admitted that he was driving drunk on July 9 and that he nearly caused a head-on collision.

A Montana Highway Patrol trooper arrested Edwards after responding to a crash in the area of Dover and Pioneer roads, according to charging documents.

When the trooper arrived, a witness said a vehicle nearly hit his vehicle head-on, crashed into a ditch, drove away a short distance and crashed into the ditch a second time.

Edwards, who showed signs of being drunk, said his disabled adult stepson was driving, the trooper reported.

Edwards pleaded guilty to felony criminal endangerment and misdemeanor counts of DUI and failing to give immediate notice of an accident. He has a felony conviction for a 2007 burglary and at least eight prior misdemeanor convictions, according to prosecutors.

Edwards is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 12.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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