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THE LATEST REGIONAL NEWS

Billings Man Gets 22 Life Sentences for Rapes
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A serial rapist who did not leave any DNA at the crime scenes, but was undone by his need to photograph them, has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The Billings Gazette reports District Judge Russell C. Fagg sentenced 42-year-old Toby Eugene Griego on Friday to 22 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus 60 years and six months in prison.

Fagg said he'd never seen a more dangerous criminal or bigger predator in Billings.

Griego was convicted of 27 felony counts in April for breaking into the homes of four women between January and July of last year, repeatedly raping three of them and trying to rape the fourth. The women said they were forced to bathe or shower afterward.

Griego did not make a statement.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Court Upholds 12-day 'sell-by' Rule for Milk
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a rule requiring that milk in Montana be sold or discarded 12 days after pasteurization.

Thursday's decision dismisses an appeal by food distributor Core-Mark International that tried to abolish the "sell-by" rule. Core-Mark had argued that the processor is in the best position to determine the shelf-life of its milk and the 12-day rule discriminates against out-of-state producers who can print "use-by" dates on milk sold in other states.

Core-Mark sued after the state Board of Livestock kept the rule after an administrative appeal process. District Judge Mike Menahan ruled in August 2013 that the livestock board fairly considered the "use-by" dating method and chose to stick with the current rule.

The justices agreed with Menahan in the 5-0 ruling, saying the board properly exercised its rulemaking authority.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Human Remains Found on Reservation Sent to FBI Lab
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Federal officials are still investigating after human remains were found on the Crow Reservation earlier this month.

FBI spokesman William Facer tells The Billings Gazette the remains have been sent to the FBI lab for analysis.

Facer confirmed on July 14 that the remains had been found, but would not say where or release any other information.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Montana Highway Patrol Adds K-9 Support
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Highway Patrol is turning to some four-legged help in its effort to prevent drug trafficking on interstates 90 and 94.

The state has added six K-9 narcotics units and a seventh dog that is trained to detect explosives. Attorney General Tim Fox introduced the officers and their dogs at Riverfront Park in Billings on Thursday.

Trooper Shawn Fowler says the dogs were bred in Europe for the sole purpose of finding narcotics. They were trained in Big Timber in May and began working in mid-June. The young dogs are mostly German and Belgian shepherds.

Fox says drug trafficking is a growing problem in Montana, especially in and around the Bakken area. He says the dogs are already demonstrating their law-enforcement value.

The state used drug forfeiture and grant money to purchase and train the dogs

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Montana State Prison Needs 65 Guards
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Department of Corrections officials are searching for creative ways to cover guard shifts at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge while seeking to fill 65 openings for correctional officers.

Corrections Director Mike Batista says guards have been working mandatory double shifts and are being called in on their days off. In May, the prison eliminated two days of visitation due to a lack of staffing.

Last week, Warden Leroy Kirkegard sent a memo to prison employees acknowledging the staffing issue and thanking employees for maintaining safe conditions. He assured staffers that prison leadership is working on it.

MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver says fatigue is becoming an issue.

Batista says the agency is going to attend job fairs and make better use of social media in its recruiting efforts. He says some people get great satisfaction from corrections work.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Sex Offender gets 10 years for False Registration
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A Level 3 sex offender who has spent 20 of the last 22 years in prison faces another 10 years for using two false addresses when registering as a sex offender in Missoula.

The Missoulian reports 44-year-old Scott David Wright was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison with 15 suspended. He was convicted in March of failing to register as a sexual offender.

Wright served 10 years in the Montana State Prison after being convicted of rape. Missoula County Prosecutor Shaun Donovan says a month after his release, Wright committed three counts of second-degree child molestation in Washington state and received another 10-year sentence.

He moved back to Missoula last September, but used false addresses when registering as a sex offender.

Wright remained jailed Friday in Missoula County.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Gov: Senator in Plagiarism Row Deserves Respect
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says he didn't know that Sen. John Walsh had plagiarized parts of his master's thesis when he appointed the former National Guard general to the Senate earlier this year.

The Democratic governor said in a statement of support that Walsh has a long history of fighting for the state's residents at home and in combat. Bullock says Walsh "deserves respect for his courage on our behalf."

Walsh's 2007 U.S. Army War College thesis includes a series of unattributed passages taken from the writings of other scholars.

The former state adjutant general characterized the work as "a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper."

Bullock appointed Walsh in February when Sen. Max Baucus resigned to become ambassador to China.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Miles City Man Dies in Crash near Worden
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A 27-year-old Miles City man died in a rollover crash near Worden, northwest of Billings.

The Montana Highway Patrol says the man was westbound on Highway 312 at about 2:20 a.m. Thursday when his pickup drifted off the right side of the road. He overcorrected, causing the truck to spin off the left side of the road and roll several times, landing on its roof.

Trooper Justin Moran tells The Billings Gazette that the man died at the scene.

UPDATE: Victim Identified

Assistant Yellowstone County Coroner Chad Fehr tells The Billings Gazette that Benjamin Capehart died at the scene.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Montana Man Accused of Impregnating 11-year-old
HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) - A 55-year-old man is charged with four felony sex crimes, including an allegation that he raped and 11-year-old girl and got her pregnant.

The Stevensville resident pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of sexual intercourse without consent and three counts of incest. District Judge Jeffrey Langton continued his bail at $1 million.

The Associated Press is not identifying the man to avoid identifying the victims.

Prosecutors allege the man sexually abused two girls, one 9 and the other 11. He was arrested in July, shortly after doctors discovered the older girl was eight months pregnant.

Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright told the judge blood tests confirm the defendant is the baby's father.

His public defender was not immediately available for comment.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Montana senator's campaign says Walsh Won't Withdraw from Ra
Montana senator's campaign says Walsh won't withdraw from race over plagiarism<
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Sen. John Walsh's campaign says the Montana Democrat won't drop out of November's election over allegations that he plagiarized a research project required for a master's degree.

Walsh has come under fire amid reports that his 2007 U.S. Army War College thesis included a series of unattributed passages taken from the writings of other scholars.

Asked if Walsh was considering dropping out of the race, campaign spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said Thursday: "Absolutely not."

National and state Democrats reaffirmed their support of the embattled senator's candidacy.

They include Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who said he had no knowledge of the plagiarism when he appointed the former lieutenant governor to the Senate in February.

Walsh faces Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines in the Nov. 4 election.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
State Seeks 23 Life Sentences for Serial Rapist
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Prosecutors are recommending 23 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for a man they called a "sadistic stalker" who was convicted of 10 counts of rape in Billings.

The Billings Gazette reports 42-year-old Toby Eugene Griego is scheduled to be sentenced Friday by District Judge Russell Fagg. Griego was convicted in April of breaking into the homes of four women last year, repeatedly raping three of them and trying to rape the fourth.

Chief Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Rod Souza's sentencing memorandum, filed Wednesday, says a doctor found Griego had anti-social personality disorder and should be designed a Level 3 sexually violent predator, meaning he is highly likely to reoffend.

Defense attorney J. Thomas Bartleson had not filed a sentencing recommendation by Thursday morning.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Update: Man's Body Found in Clark Fork River in Missoula
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Police and the Missoula County sheriff's office are investigating after a man's body was found in the Clark Fork River in Missoula.

Passers-by reported seeing the body in the water east of the California Street footbridge at about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Officers say the man was a 60-year-old Missoula resident. His name hasn't been released.

Missoula County sheriff's spokeswoman Paige Pavalone says investigators are still trying to determine the cause of death.

Update: Coroner identifies man found in Clark Fork River

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Missoula County officials have identified the 60-year-old man whose body was found in the Clark Fork River in Missoula.

Sheriff's Capt. Brad Griffin tells the Missoulian that Jack Pray of Missoula drowned.

Bystanders spotted Pray's body Wednesday evening. Authorities say he had been in the water for several days and police are still investigating how he ended up in the river.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
UPDATE: Victim of Great Falls fatal identified
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old Great Falls man was killed and another was injured in a one-vehicle rollover just south of Great Falls.

The Montana Highway Patrol says car was speeding northbound on Fox Farm Road just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when the car crossed the center line and went off the left side of the road. The car struck an approach and overturned.

The driver was ejected and died at the scene. His name has not been released.

His passenger, also a 22-year-old Great Falls man, was hospitalized with injuries.

UPDATE: Victim of Great Falls fatal identified

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - Cascade County officials have released the name of a 22-year-old man who died in a rollover crash on Fox Farm Road just south of Great Falls.

The sheriff's office says Joshua Pinocci of Great Falls died at the scene of the crash just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Montana Highway Patrol says Pinocci was speeding northbound when the car crossed the center line and went off the left side of the road. The car hit an approach, became airborne and rolled before coming to rest on its side.

Pinocci was ejected from the car.

A 22-year-old male passenger, who was wearing a seat belt, was injured.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Valier Man Charged in Child Prostitution Sting
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A 59-year-old Valier man is charged with attempting to solicit child prostitution after police say he responded to an online ad for sex with girls who were "barely legal."

Court records say Curtis Aaberg was arrested Tuesday after agreeing to pay $200 for several sex acts with a 12-year-old.

The Great Falls Tribune reports Aaberg made an initial court appearance Wednesday. His bail was set at $10,000.

Prosecutors say Aaberg responded to the online ad and was told the available girls were 12 and 15 years old. He reportedly said that he didn't want to go to jail, but prosecutors say he traveled to Great Falls for an encounter.

A public defender said Aaberg is the publisher and distributor of a newspaper in Pondera County, where he has lived since 1969. He has no criminal record.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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