By Tim Leeds 

Caplette sentenced in two cases


Darrin W. Caplette of Box Elder, who lost his chance to clear his name of a criminal charge five years ago, will spend five years in custody followed by five years of probation.

Caplette admitted in state District Court in Havre to violating conditions of his release on a 2004 sentence and pleaded guilty to a 2009 felony charge of aggravated assault.

Caplette, born in 1982, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana, fleeing from law enforcement officers and failing to carry proof of insurance after he led a Hill County sheriff's deputy on a high-speed chase from Box Elder onto Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation in April 2004.

The deputy attempted to pull Caplette over after he confirmed with the county dispatch that Caplette was driving with a suspended license.

The deputy pursued Caplette after he failed to pull over and witnessed him or a passenger throwing items out of the vehicle window while they fled. The deputy later recovered some of the items, including a stocking cap, and found methamphetamine and marijuana in them.

In the plea agreement, a felony charge of criminal endangerment and misdemeanor charges of driving while his privilege to do so was suspended or revoked and an additional misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana were dismissed in the plea agreement.

Judge David Rice imposed a two-year deferred imposition of sentence on the felony count. If Caplette had abided by all conditions of his release, he could have petitioned to have the felony charge struck from his record after the two years of probation.

In August 2005, Caplette admitted to violating those conditions, including being charged with obstructing a police officer and testing positive for use of marijuana, methamphetamine and alcohol. Rice resentenced him to five years of probation in a suspended sentence to the state Department of Corrections.

In October 2009, Caplette was charged with felony counts of assault with a weapon and aggravated assault after he was accused of causing injuries in a fight using brass knuckles.

In July, Caplette pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated assault and admitted violating conditions of his release in the 2004 case.

In November, after Caplette admitted to new charges of violating conditions of his release, for a total of 16, Rice resentenced him to five years with the DOC on the 2004 charge, with credit for 31 days served and two years of street time, and to a consecutive sentence of five years, all suspended, on the 2009 charge.


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