Car thief gets deferred sentence
The imposition of sentencing was deferred for three years in Polson District Court Nov. 2 for a Missoula man convicted of theft, resolving a crime from 2017. Tyson Jacob Whitegrass, 31, pleaded guilty to felony theft during an earlier court appearance that was part of a plea agreement reached to dismiss a drug possession charge.
According to court records, on Dec. 29, 2017, a woman contacted law enforcement to report the theft of her 2006 Kia. She explained that it had been left running in front of her sister’s house while she was there to pick up her children.
When she came back with the children the Kia was gone and she reported the vehicle as stolen to law enforcement. Less than an hour later an officer with Flathead Tribal Police located the suspected stolen Kia and made a traffic stop.
The driver was Kelvon Kallowat and passenger was Whitegrass, who was allegedly intoxicated and uncooperative.
Kallowat told officers that Whitegrass came upon him and asked him to drive to Pablo and Kallowat agreed due to Whitegrass's inebriated state. Whitegrass told Kallowat that he had a car and gave him the keys to the stolen Kia. Kallowat was unaware the Kia had been stolen.
The brother-in-law of the Kia’s owner told officers investigating the theft that fresh footprints in the snow where the Kia was left running came from the apartment across the street where the suspect's sister lived, and Whitegrass was arrested.
He was allegedly in possession of a used meth pipe, thus the drug possession charge. The vehicle, with a new dent in the bumper, was returned to the rightful owner.
Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher gave Whitegrass credit for having already served 113 days in jail and ordered him to pay restitution of $1,269.40 for damage to the Kia.