GREAT FALLS - A former reserve deputy with the Cascade County Sheriff's office who is charged in a fatal hit-and-run accident says he will plead no contest to two felony charges.
Jason Caughey filed his intent Friday to plead no contest to criminal endangerment and failing to remain at the scene of a fatal accident. The Great Falls Tribune reports a change-of-plea hearing is set for Nov. 29, and prosecutors have recommended a three-year deferred sentence.
The 39-year-old is accused of hitting 21-year-old Sasha Holt with his car on Fox Farm Road just outside of Great Falls on July 1, 2009. Investigators say they think Holt was hit by a second vehicle within minutes after Caughey drove away.
The defense has argued Caughey's blood-alcohol content - estimated at 0.043 percent - was not significant enough for him to be a danger. State law says a BAC of 0.04 percent is not considered as under the influence of alcohol. Caughey's attorneys also have argued that Holt had a blood-alcohol level of 0.3 percent and was either crawling or lying on the side of the road when she was hit.
Caughey, who also was chief of the Gore Hill volunteer fire department, told investigators he thought he hit a dog.