Probation and $40,000 restitution imposed on assault
December 19, 2013
A Havre man was put on probation and ordered to pay more than $40,000 in restitution for an assault that sent another man to the hospital for reconstructive surgery.
Kohl Jolen Keto, born in 1993, previously pleaded guilty in a plea agreement in state District Court in Havre to a felony charge of aggravated assault.
This week, District Judge Dan Boucher issued his judgment on the case, deferring imposition of sentence for six years and ordering Keto to pay $30,435.71 in restitution to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, $5,313 to the victim and $2,658.51 to the Montana Crime Victims Compensation Fund, plus a 10 percent court fee.
If Keto abides by all conditions of his release during the probation, he may petition to have the felony struck from his record.
Boucher wrote in the judgement that the sentence is appropriate due to Keto’s youth and the fact that this is his first felony offense.
He also warned Keto that if he violates those conditions, he could face up to the full penalty — a maximum of 20 years and a $50,000 fine — for the assault.
The conditions include not breaking any laws, abiding by a curfew, working at a job, not possessing firearms or ammunition, not possessing or drinking alcohol or using any illegal drugs, not going into bars or casinos and enrolling in the 24/7 Sobriety Program.
Keto was charged after a man called Havre police July 16, 2012, and said Keto had assaulted him at a house party the night before.
The victim said he was en route to Great Falls to see a plastic surgeon when he called the police. Medical personnel had looked at his injuries in the emergency room at Northern Montana Hospital after the assault, but due to the severity of his injuries he needed to be examined by a plastic surgeon.
He suffered a fractured eye socket, a broken cheekbone, three fractures to his nose, a broken sinus cavity and a cracked rib as a result of the assault.
The victim said Keto approached him at the party the night before and said he was going to have to fight him because the victim had been talking to the girlfriend of the person who was throwing the party.
He said he told Keto he was not going to fight, and Keto came back later and said the fight was off.
Keto later came back and said it was back on, the victim said, and struck him and knocked him to the ground. The victim said he could not remember how many times Keto had struck him, but witnesses said he hit the victim several times, with one saying Keto knocked the victim to the ground then was on top of him, continuing to hit him.