Stidham faces theft, child endangerment charges
August 14, 2013
A Havre woman is facing a felony and two misdemeanor charges based on accusations she took a vehicle she was told to leave alone and went drinking while responsible for two grade-school-aged children.
The charges include an accusation she left one of the children, who suffers from developmental disabilities, alone in a remote residence in the Bear Paw Mountains at one point.
Cassandra Stidham, born in 1986, pleaded not guilty in state District Court before Judge John McKeon Tuesday to a felony count of theft and to endangering the welfare of a child and driving under the influence of intoxicants, both misdemeanors.
According to court documents, a man contacted law enforcement officers in both Blaine and Hill counties complaining about actions he said Stidham had taken.
He called Havre law enforcement officers at 9:15 p.m. July 10 and told him that Stidham had taken his pickup and was driving around while drinking. She was taking care of two grade-school-aged children including the boy with developmental disabilities, the document said.
Stidham told law enforcement officers he had told Stidham not to use the 2007 Dodge Ram because it was not insured and because she had been drinking, the document said.
He said after she had called him from his residence, about 30 miles south of Chinook in the Bear Paws, he called neighbors to ask them to check on the boy. The neighbors called him to say no one was in the cabin, the document said.
Later that night, while the defendant was driving around looking for her, Stidham called him to say she was broken down in Beaver Creek Park, the document said. He said she was angry because when she called the Hill County Sheriff’s Office to obtain help, they told her he had filed a complaint, the document said.
He later received a text from her telling him the boy was in the Bear Paw residence, the document said. When he went to the residence, he found the boy alone and asleep on the couch with the telephone unplugged and unusable.
Blaine County deputy sheriffs were dispatched at 12:44 a.m. July 11 to meet him at the cabin, after he called law enforcement.
A Hill County deputy sheriff apprehended Stidham at 11:19 p.m. July 10 where the Dodge pickup was broken down, just off of Beaver Creek Park about two miles in on Sucker Creek Road, Hill County Sheriff’s Office dispatch reports say.