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Region in brief

Man pleads guilty in robberyA 19-year-old Billings man who held up a convenience store at gunpoint pleaded guilty Thursday in District Court to felony robbery.

Alexander Thomas Gray Bennett was arrested March 13 minutes after the Shiloh Express Exxon Center at 3969 Grand Ave. was robbed at 12:45 a.m. Police stopped Bennett as he sped away from the store in a car, and later found a loaded .45-caliber handgun and a bag with $180 in the car. Officers also found several bullet-ridden cardboard targets in the car.

Bennett has been held in the county jail on $50,000 bond since his arrest. He pleaded innocent to the charge March 19.

Bennett agreed to change his plea in exchange for a sentence recommendation by prosecutors that includes a five-year prison sentence and boot camp. If Bennett completes boot camp he can ask for a reduced sentence, according to the plea agreement. A sentencing hearing was set for Oct. 4.Husband in court on assault chargeA 69-year-old Billings man accused of stabbing his wife, who then stabbed him, pleaded innocent Thursday to a felony charge of assault with a weapon.

Appearing for arraignment in District Court, Marvin Moore initially told Judge Susan Watters he wanted to plead guilty to the charge. But he was interrupted by his court-appointed attorney, and after the two men spoke Moore entered the innocent plea.

Watters set Moore’s bond at $10,000.

Moore’s wife, Cecelia Moore, 47, pleaded not guilty last week to felony assault with a weapon and partner/family member assault, a misdemeanor. She is being held in the county jail on $10,000 bond.

The couple was arrested June 20 after police found Marvin Moore in the front yard of a house in the 600 block of North 23rd Street. Marvin Moore had suffered two stab wounds to the chest. Officers found Cecelia Moore nearby still brandishing a knife and threatening to kill her husband. She had been stabbed in the arm.

Prosecutors say the couple had been drinking and arguing when Marvin Moore stabbed his wife in the arm. Cecelia Moore grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and chased her husband outside where she stabbed him twice in the chest.

Marvin Moore was treated at Deaconess Billings Clinic, while Cecelia Moore was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare.Birthday ends with drinking arrestAbout two minutes after his 32nd birthday ended, a Billings man received his sixth citation for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Richard Perez turned 32 on July 3 and was stopped at 12:02 a.m. on July 4 by officers who said Perez was racing with another vehicle on Broadwater Avenue. According to court documents, police said the cars were driving 56 mph in a 35 mph zone on Broadwater Avenue.

According to court documents, Perez’s breath test indicated his blood alcohol content was .217 percent, more than double the legal limit for driving in Montana.

Perez appeared Thursday in Justice Court where Deputy County Attorney Laura Watson requested $15,000 bond because Perez has five prior DUI convictions. Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez agreed to the bond and told Perez to appear Tuesday in District Court.Speeding violation leads to arrest A Billings man wanted for his involvement in taking more than $7,000 worth of items from a home in January was arrested Tuesday.

Phillip Holland, 25, was arrested after he was stopped for going 88 mph in a 65 mph stretch of Interstate 90. He pleaded guilty Thursday in Justice Court to speeding and driving while his license was suspended. Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez gave Holland credit for three days served in jail which absolved the speeding fine and counts as $50 a day against a $290 fine for driving while his license was suspended. Holland, of 131 Nightingale Drive, is also known as Phillip Russell.

Holland is wanted in Gallatin County on a contempt charge for failure to appear in Justice Court there. Holland also appeared on a felony theft charge stemming from thefts from an Anchor Avenue home between Jan. 9 and Jan. 18. He also is charged with misdemeanor unsworn falsification to authorities for allegedly filling out a pawn slip stating he owned property that came from the theft.

According to the affidavit, Holland and others took items from the home while the owners were away. The stolen property ranged from guns worth several hundred dollars each and a generator worth more than $1,000 to silver coins, computer equipment, an oak dining set and other furnishings including linens. Some of the items, including at least one gun and the generator, have been recovered through Billings pawn shops.

Holland is being held on $30,000 bond. He is to appear Tuesday in District Court.Woman in court for endangerment A Lockwood woman is accused of endangering her 6-year-old son while driving drunk early Thursday morning.

Dawn L. Saddler, 24, of 711 Starlight Drive, is charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol and misdemeanor counts of driving while her driver’s license was suspended or revoked, no insurance and negligent endangerment. She appeared Thursday in Justice Court.

“She decided to celebrate the Fourth of July by driving around at .232 (blood alcohol content) with her 6-year-old son in the car,” Deputy County Attorney Laura Watson told the judge.

If convicted this would be Saddler’s fifth DUI, Watson said. Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez said Saddler had not completed the alcohol treatment course required from her last DUI conviction.

Hernandez set Saddler’s bond at $20,000 for the traffic violations and $500 for not completing the course. Saddler is to appear Tuesday in District Court on the DUI and other violations. She will have a hearing in Justice Court on the charge of not completing the sentence requirements.

A Montana Highway Patrol officer on Interstate 90 at about midnight on July 4 said traffic on the Interstate slowed to about 35- to 40 mph near the Lockwood exit, according to court documents. The officer said a small white passenger car, driven by Saddler, slowed the traffic. According to the affidavit, Saddler crossed the fog line on the on ramp and the officer followed her toward Old Hardin Road, where the car swerved and drove on the center line, then onto the gravel shoulder and back across the center line.

Saddler agreed to give a breath test at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility which showed her blood alcohol content at .232 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Montana.

A new federal law requires states to implement a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content standard as the legal level for drunken driving by 2004.

Copyright © 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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