A man who pleaded guilty to nearly beating a Havre man to death in North Havre in 2004 was back in court Monday, denying accusations he harbored a fugitive from justice in Billings and then fled from the police himself.
Ronald W. Britt, born in 1976, denied three violations of conditions of his release in state District Court in Havre Monday. He was in Hill County jail this morning on $200,000 bond on a charge of violating conditions of release.
He pleaded guilty in 2004, along with three others, to beating two men in North Havre, putting one in the hospital in critical condition.
In 2004, Britt also pleaded guilty to drug possession and in 2005 to threatening a witness in the assault case. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on the assault and five years, to run at the same time, for being a persistent felony offender.
He was sentenced to two years suspended for the tampering with a witness charge and five years with three suspended on the drug charge, with the suspended portions to run after he served the sentence on the assault.
Britt was discharged to a prerelease center in Missoula in 2012 and was discharged from there to Billings in August 2013 to begin serving his suspended sentences.
According to the petition to revoke his release, May 1 a Violent Offender Task Force agent and a deputy U.S. marshal contacted Britt in Billings due to suspicion he was associated with Jason Ramirez, who was a “known felony fugitive.”
Britt refused to cooperate, the document says, and was physically detained by one of the officers. Seconds later the officers saw Ramirez jump from a window.
The officers ordered Britt to remain where he was and chased Ramirez, but Britt fled while they were detaining Ramirez, the document says.
Britt pushed a woman who was putting a child in a car seat into the back of the car and drove off in the vehicle, which also had two other children as passengers, the document says.
Britt drove “erratically and dangerously” as he fled, the document said. An “attempt to locate,” generally issued for missing persons or wanted suspects, was issued for the children, who were not related to Britt or the woman.
A pistol was found in the residence where Britt and Ramirez were found and is being investigated to determine if Britt possessed it, the document says.
Britt was located and arrested May 7, and later tested positive for methamphetamine, marijuana use, opiates and the psychoactive drug benzodiazepine.
The petition to revoke his release charges Britt with not being cooperative with law enforcement, illegal drug use and associating with a probationer, parolee, prison inmate or person in the custody of law enforcement.
No charges had been filed against Britt in Yellowstone County as of Tuesday.
The court document did not say what happened to the children.
Ramirez, who was born in 1982, faces charges in at least two cases in Yellowstone County, including illegally possessing drugs, illegally possessing drugs with intent to distribute and failure to register as a sexual or violent offender.