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Individuals sentenced for possession of drugs, endangerment of children, DUI in District Court

Sidney Herald of Sidney, Montana

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On Wednesday in District Court, three individuals were sentenced by District Judge Katherine Bidegaray.

Brooke Brannan received a three-year deferred sentence for criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony, and a sixth-month sentence, all suspended, for endangering the welfare of children. The sentences were part of a plea agreement.

Richland County deputy attorney Janet Christofferson noted Brannan is only 21 years old, has two children and has been doing well in treatment court. She added Brannan has been upfront and honest with her answers.

Before Bidegaray announced the sentence, Brannan said the day marked her sixth month of sobriety. "I know I have a long journey ahead of me to be sober," Brannan said.

Reasons that Bidegaray provided for the sentence included the joint recommendation, her very young age, it was her first felony and nothing in her history reflects violence.

The judge noted the deferred sentence gives Brannan the chance to have a clean record, but she added a deferred sentence is a double-edged sword.

Tyler J. Swanson, meanwhile, was sentenced for driving under the influence, fourth or subsequent offense.

The plea agreement, which Bidegaray agreed with, sentenced Swanson to 13 months with the Montana Department of Corrections to complete a residential alcohol treatment program. If he completes the program prior to 13 months, the rest of the time will be on probation. He was also sentenced to four years with the Montana Department of Corrections, all suspended. The sentences are to run consecutively He was fined $1,000.

Reasons that Bidegaray provided for the sentence included: the joint agreement, it was his first felony, his relatively short criminal history, nothing in his criminal history of violence, it's the sentence that the legislature mandates and it addresses chemical dependency issues.

Alexia Rehbein received a three-year deferred sentence and was fined $2,000 for the endangerment of children.

Reasons that Bidegaray provided for the sentence included: the joint recommendation, her young age, no prior felony in her short chemical history, sentence allows her to stay home and take care of her children, no violent offenses in her history, she provided complete and good answers. The judge explained to Rehbein that a deferred sentence is a double-edged sword.



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Original Publication Date: July 26, 2015



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