Man admits reduced charges in case of stolen skateboard, truck

2013-05-02T17:09:00Z 2013-05-03T00:14:26Z Man admits reduced charges in case of stolen skateboard, truckGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

A man who went on a bizarre crime spree in December pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced charges.

Scott Allen Howard, 22, appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court by video from the county jail and pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor charges.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors reduced a felony criminal endangerment charge to misdemeanor negligent endangerment.

Howard also pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, and one count each of fleeing police, criminal mischief and driving without a valid license.

Judge Pro Tem Lance Lundvall followed the recommended sentence in the plea agreement and ordered Howard to serve a total of six months in jail, followed by six months of probation and two years of unsupervised probation.

Howard was given credit for the time he has served in jail since his arrest. Lundvall also ordered him to pay $2,000 in fines.

Howard was arrested last Dec. 1 during a strange incident that began when he stole a skateboard off the porch of a house on South 35th Street.

The skateboard belonged to an 11-year-old boy who told police that a man with red hair and no shirt came to the door babbling, grabbed his skateboard and ran off.

An officer found the skateboard leaning against a power pole in the parking lot of the nearby sugar beet plant. A factory employee told the officer a man had just run into the scale house, confronted him and run away.

As officers continued looking for the man, a report came in from a nearby auto repair business that a man had jumped a fence, stolen a pickup truck and driven through a locked gate.

Officers found the stolen truck being driven erratically on Orchard Lane. The driver refused to immediately stop, instead speeding through an empty lot and attempting a sudden U-turn. The truck then careened into a yard and became disabled.

As he was being arrested, Howard repeatedly shouted that someone was trying to eat his brains.

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