Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Erickson trial rescheduled


A plea deal being negotiated with a Havre businessman on an assault charge appears to have fallen through, with a trial scheduled for Kenneth A. Erickson, born in 1963, starting Oct. 24.

Judge Dan Boucher Friday vacated a change of plea hearing that had been scheduled for this afternoon.

No plea agreement ever was filed in the case.

Erickson was charged May 3, 2011, with a felony count of aggravated assault following an incident April 23, 2011, outside of a Havre tavern that put a man in the hospital in critical condition.

Gene Johnson of Big Sandy was injured when his head struck the pavement of the parking lot outside the tavern. The Hill County attorney charged that Erickson struck Johnson, causing him to fall.

Erickson maintained that he acted in self defense.

The charge later was amended to include, in the alternative to the assault charge, a felony count of criminal endangerment.

Police responded April 23, 2011, to several calls that a man had been injured in an altercation in the tavern's parking lot.

Erickson told the Havre Daily News he felt threatened by a man taller and younger than himself, who was shoving him and and shouting at him.

Erickson said Johnson's falling backward and hitting his head was an accident.


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