By Ron VandenBoom
Lionel Demontiney pleaded innocent to murder in a hearing last Friday in the 12th Judicial District Court of Judge John Warner.
For the first time since his arrest on Nov. 23, Demontiney was wearing civilian attire as he stood behind the defense table listening to Warner explain that the penalty for deliberate homicide could be life in prison or not less than 10 years if Demontiney were found guilty.
Demontiney quickly gave his answer of "not guilty."
He is accused of having shot to death his 24-year-old cousin, Bryan Gopher, during an argument late in the evening of Nov. 22 in the parking lot of the Holiday Village Shopping Center in Havre.
Warner then set 9 a.m. March 15 as the date for an omnibus hearing to accept motions.
He then entered an obligation for county attorney personnel to have all results from the State Crime Lab in Missoula ready, in at least written form, by March 9, so there will be no motions to postpone trial due to a lack of evidence from the lab.
Defense attorney Carl White then told Warner that the defense was hoping to have an omnibus hearing for late January or very early February.
White told Warner that Demontiney had asserted his right to a speedy trial and believed that they would be ready for trial by the March 1.
Warner told White that he would be unavailable in January and February and that he anticipated 30 days between the omnibus hearing and the trial.
Warner then admonished county attorney personnel again that he is giving them "quite a bit of time over the objection of the defense" to get what they need from the Crime Lab.
Warner also granted permission to modify Demontiney's conditions of release to permit him to participate in chemical dependency classes on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.
Demontiney will be required to give advanced notice of his appointments due to electronic monitoring restrictions currently in place.