A Billings man will serve 9 more days in jail after throwing a punch that led to another man’s death.
Adam Michael Wilson, 36, was sentenced Tuesday to the statutory maximum of six months in jail, with credit for the 171 days he’s already served.
A jury convicted him of misdemeanor assault in December after an altercation with Valdo Evans, 45, that eventually led to Evans' death. The charge was an alternative to the felony he originally faced.
District Court Judge Rod Souza declined to impose restitution of $114,557 that Montana Medicaid had requested for Evans’ medical care.
Evans never regained consciousness after the incident and died seven months later, after the first day of Wilson’s trial.
Wilson punched Valdo Evans in downtown Billings on the night of April 29, 2018, saying Evans had punched him first and he punched back in self-defense. Evans, who had a blood-alcohol content of 0.348, fell backward without attempting to stop himself.
Wilson stomped on Evans' chest after punching him, prosecutors noted. He then joined two others in dragging Evans by the feet out of North 27th Street, near Sixth Avenue North, where he’d fallen. Wilson had begun walking south down the sidewalk when police located him and started asking questions, police testified.
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The judge noted several aggravating factors that led him to impose the maximum sentence, including Wilson’s multiple DUI and partner or family member assault convictions, as well as a felony assault with a weapon conviction.
Souza also said that when Wilson kicked Evans, Evans was on the ground.
“The kick was unprovoked, it was unwarranted, unnecessary and frankly cowardly,” the judge said. “The full six-month term is warranted considering your long history of violence and your inability to follow the law.”
The judge said he could not impose the restitution because the jury form was not clear whether jurors' conviction pertained to when Wilson punched Evans or when he kicked him.
It was the punch that led to Evans falling and hitting his head and losing consciousness. The kick came afterward and a doctor told jurors it did not cause serious injury.
Souza said without knowing on which specific act jurors had convicted Wilson, he couldn’t find that Wilson caused the injury for which Montana Medicaid sought restitution.
Wilson was to report to jail Tuesday after another unrelated court hearing.