Man with lengthy criminal history facing new charge

2014-04-04T16:37:00Z 2014-04-04T23:16:15Z Man with lengthy criminal history facing new chargeBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A 41-year-old man with at least 13 felony convictions — including one for posing as an official and unsuccessfully ordering his own release from jail — was arraigned Friday on a new felony charge.

George Leon Goodrie appeared by video from the county jail before District Judge Ingrid Gustafson and pleaded not guilty to a felony count of forgery, common scheme.

Gustafson set Goodrie’s bond at $50,000 concurrent to the bond amount Goodrie faces in other pending cases. He remains in the county jail.

Goodrie is scheduled to go to trial July 28 in two cases filed last year. In the first case, he faces two counts of felony theft and a count of misdemeanor theft. In the second case, he is charged with felony assault on a peace or judicial officer. The charge alleges that while in the county jail he bit a detention officer on the arm.

Goodrie is also set for an Aug. 25 hearing to revoke his sentences in four felony cases from 2001.

State Department of Corrections records indicate Goodrie has at least 13 felony convictions for offenses committed from 1991 to 2010 that include theft, burglary, accountability for deceptive practices, issuing a bad check, forgery, impersonating a public servant and tampering with witnesses or informants.

A Billings judge sentenced Goodrie on five felonies to a total of 26 years in prison, with 13 years suspended, in August 2002, according to a Gazette report.

Goodrie had tearfully asked for 50 years of probation, explaining he wanted to turn his life around.

While in the jail in 2001, Goodrie twice called the booking room from a jail phone and identified himself as a judge and a probation officer and ordered his own release.

Detention officers were not fooled, and prosecutors later charged Goodrie with two counts of felony impersonation of a public servant. One of the charges was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

In March 2001, he posted $25,000 bond and was released from jail, pending resolution of the cases against him. Officers arrested him again in July of that year after witnesses said he pulled a gun on four people.

While in jail on the assault charges, Goodrie offered a teenager $1,000 to take the blame. The teen reported the bribe, and prosecutors charged Goodrie with felony tampering with a witness.

Prosecutors also charged Goodrie with felony theft for stealing a woman’s purse just before his arrest on the assault charges.

As part of a plea agreement in the numerous 2001 cases, prosecutors dropped a drug possession charge and the assault charges.

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito told The Gazette at the time that the dismissal of the assault charges was key to securing Goodrie’s guilty plea on the other felony charges.

Public records indicate that Goodrie was given a six-year suspended sentence in Lewis and Clark County in May 2013 for a felony count of accountability for deceptive practices.

It was not immediately clear Friday how much revocable prison time Goodrie faces in the cases he has already been sentenced on.

If he is designated as a persistent felony offender, he will face a minimum of five years in prison and up to 100 years if convicted in the new cases in Yellowstone County.

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

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