A man on probation in connection with the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of selling methamphetamine to undercover agents.
George Peabody, 23, of Billings, admitted to selling the drugs in November 2004. Sentencing is scheduled for July 24. Peabody, who checks in with a probation officer twice a month, remained free.
Judge Gregory Todd told Peabody that designating him a persistent felony offender is "in the works." The maximum penalty for each charge of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs is life in prison and a $50,000 fine. There is a one-year mandatory minimum sentence for persistent felony offenders, Todd said.
In January 2005, Peabody was sentenced to seven years with the Department of Corrections with four years suspended as part of a plea agreement in which he admitted to felony tampering with evidence in the traffic case. He was ordered to serve six months in jail, which ran concurrently with the sentence for misdemeanor driving with a suspended license.
Peabody admitted he did not stop after his car struck 56-year-old Donald Ray O'Neil Jr., who was walking on Interstate 90 near Lockwood on June 8, 2003. Peabody said he did not stop because he was driving with a suspended license. He drove the car to a home of an acquaintance and told the man he had hit a deer.
A few hours later, the man became suspicious and contacted police, at about the same time a tow truck driver reported seeing what he thought was a mannequin on the side of the highway.