By Tim Eberly
A second Havre resident has been charged in connection with the theft of a lawn tractor in Livingston.
Erica Ann Dion, 19, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft by accountability. Dion also has been charged with forgery by common scheme in an unrelated case, but has not been arraigned.
Prosecutors say Dion and Tim Harmon, 24, made a road trip Oct. 8 that included stops in Bozeman and Livingston. In a Jan. 9 interview, Dion told Havre police she rode with Harmon so she could visit a 24-year-old man named Billy Baer in Bozeman, according to a criminal complaint filed in District Court in Havre.
In Bozeman, Dion and Harmon drove to a business, stole a trailer and hooked it up to Harmon's vehicle, court documents allege. The duo then drove to Livingston and stole a John Deere riding tractor from a farm implement lot, using the stolen trailer to transport it back to Havre, the documents said.
According to court documents, Harmon claimed Dion hatched the plan to steal the tractor, and that he received only $500 compared to Dion's $1,500 for its sale. Dion told police she received no money.
Harmon is also accused of stealing another lawn tractor without Dion, according to court documents.
Harmon pleaded not guilty Jan. 28 to two felony theft charges and one misdemeanor theft charge. He is being held in the Hill County Detention Center on $25,000 bond a $10,000 bond for the charges in Hill County and a $15,000 bond for an arrest warrant from Flathead County on a charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
On Nov. 7, the Whitefish Police Department found three small packets of methamphetamine while searching his hotel room, Flathead County Attorney Tom Esch said. The drugs were found in the pocket of a shirt in the closet, Esch said.
Dion's grandparents were the victims of her forgery, court documents allege, while they were residing in Arizona for the winter. Dion took some of her grandparents' checks and forged her grandfather's name to cash a number of checks for herself, the criminal complaint said. From Dec. 2 to Jan. 2, Dion cashed five checks and received $2,300, the charging documents said.
Baer is facing charges in another case. He is accused of pawning five of his brother's rifles at a pawn shop in Havre, documents said. Baer, who has been living with a relative in Havre, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft.