The family of the late Blaine County Undersheriff Pat Pyette received some closure Friday afternoon, the the county attorney said Friday, following the end of the trial for the woman who struck and killed him on U.S. Highway 2 in December.
Mary Louise Stewart, the 62-year-old former Hays resident on trial, entered a plea agreement today, having her charge amended to a high misdemeanor criminal negligence charge from what was a felony.
She was sentenced to a one-year deferred imposition of sentence.
Blaine County Attorney Don Ranstrom said recommended against imposing a fine, which could have been up to $1,000, because “this woman is unemployed and, perhaps due to her stress, unemployable.”
Stewart lost her job teaching at Hays-Lodge Pole Schools and moved earlier this year to live with family in Indiana.
Ranstrom said that, after statements from both Stewart and Pyette’s family, that more than the legal case is settled.
“I believe that justice was served,” Ranstrom said. “The family was happy with the finality of it, in that there is no chance of a not guilty finding of the jury.
“That was the main thing the family wanted from the outset, the acknowledgment of her fault and an apology, which they received today.”
Pyette was killed last Dec. 14. After a semi-truck broke down on U.S. Highway 2, Pyette was directing traffic around truck near the Spa Bar. Around 5 p.m., Stewart did not see Pyette while driving west and hit him.
Pyette was flown to Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, where he died.
A few days later, the tragedy drew hundreds of people to Chinook to say goodbye to the popular public servant.