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20th Judicial District Court News

by BERL TISKUS
Reporter | June 29, 2023 12:00 AM

Bail jumping lands Arlee man with Department of Corrections

Michael Anthony Assiniboine, 34, Arlee, appeared in Judge Molly Owen’s court on June 21 and had his two-year suspended sentence revoked. He was committed to the Department of Corrections for two years for bail jumping, with none suspended. The court recommended that Assiniboine be screened by the Department of Corrections for chemical dependency treatment. Assiniboine’s sentence stems from July 23, 2015, when a woman reported a burglary at her residence in St. Ignatius. In addition to items of personal property, the keys to a 1996 Chevrolet Blazer were missing and so was the Blazer. The value of the property, not counting the vehicle, was more than $1,500, and the Blazer’s value was also more than $1,500.

On Jan, 29, 2016, a Lake County deputy spoke to some people who told him during the summer of 2015 Assiniboine had asked them if he could leave a Blazer on their Dixon property, claiming the engine had problems. Assiniboine also offered to sell the Blazer to them, but they refused. Assiniboine returned several times to remove parts from the Blazer. The deputy examined the vehicle and identified it as the stolen Blazer. On Dec. 29, 2015, law enforcement was called to another residence in St Ignatius. The person who called said someone had entered his house and garage and moved and piled items in apparent anticipation of removing them, and had also entered other sheds and vehicles on his property. He had an alarm system went off and scared the person away.

The person took a 2005 Kawasaki four-wheeler worth between $3,000 and $4,000. Officers followed the tracks and located the vehicle off the road, deep in the woods, and Assiniboine was seen running away from it. The suspect was charged with two felony counts of burglary and two felony counts of theft, one of each in Sanders County and one of each in Lake County.

For the two counts in Sanders county, Assiniboine received a suspended sentence for two years in Montana State Prison to be served concurrently with the Lake County case. Assiniboine had not shown up for court in Lake County so a warrant was issued and he was serving time in the Lake County Jail.

A press release from Sheriff Don Bell dated July 11, 2016, reported that Assiniboine was charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs. The suspect was attending his father’s funeral, attired in a full Lake County Detention orange jumpsuit with a belly chain and ankle cuffs to prevent escape.

After the funeral, officers noticed something clenched in Assiniboine’s handcuffed hand. A struggle ensued and Assiniboine attempted, unsuccessfully, to swallow what he was holding and bit the hand of an officer, Bell said. Officers recovered the item, which turned out to be a condom stuffed with heroin, drug paraphernalia and money. According to Bell, Assiniboine was never allowed outside the reach of officers at the funeral, but was allowed to hug family members shortly before the condom was discovered.

Due to violations of his parole, Assiniboine was scheduled to appear in court June 29, 2022, for a revocation of his sentence for felony burglary. He failed to appear and was charged with bail jumping.

Woman's suspended sentence follows plea agreement

Judge Owen saw Stephanie Faye Wild in her court on June 21, 2023, for revocation of a two-year sentence for felony theft. Wild was committed to the Department of Corrections for two years, with all of that time suspended.

Wild was charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and felony endangering the welfare of children. The terms of a plea agreement stipulated that she plead guilty to endangering the welfare of children; that at sentencing the charge of felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs would be dismissed with prejudice; and that she be committed to the Department of Corrections for five years with all but time served suspended. Wild’s case stems from an incident in 2008 when a person reported a theft of jewelry and other items from his home that spring. He suspected his daughter, Stephanie Faye Wild, of the theft. He later found several of the stolen items at. First National Pawn in Kalispell, and notified the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

An administrative warrant was served on the pawn shop for the man’s belongings, and the slips identified Wild as the person who pawned the items. A few days later, Wild was arrested on another charge in Flathead County and admitted she had taken multiple items of jewelry and a pair of skis from her parents, valued at over $1,000, and pawned them. Wild was found guilty of felony theft, and sentenced to the Department of Corrections for two years, wth all suspended but 20 days, to be served in the Lake County Jail, along with the sentence imposed in Flathead County.

On May 7, 2021, two adult probation officers conducted a probation search of Wild’s room at the KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino. During the search, they found numerous needles used to inject methamphetamine, most of them in Wild’s purse, and one located on the bathroom countertop.

Two children, one born in 2016 and another in 2019, were in the room. The needle in the bathroom was within reach of the older child.

Also found in Wild's purse were two baggies containing a white crystalline substance, identified as methamphetamine by the Montana State Crime Laboratory. During questioning, Wild admitted she recently bought two bags of methamphetamine and indicated some of the needles were used to administer the drug.