Woman Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Critically Injuring Pedestrian with Car

HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – A woman has been sentenced to 10 years in the Montana State Prison System, none suspended, after admitting to operating a vehicle that struck and injured a man, resulting in his death, in Havre in May 2019.

Margaret Bear, born in 1979, was sentenced by Judge Kaydee Snipes-Ruiz on Monday in Hill County District Court after pleading guilty to felony criminal endangerment.

Bear will be ineligible for parole for the first five years of her sentence, and is ordered to pay $49,656.32 in restitution.

In the Judgment, Judge Snipes-Ruiz noted that Bear was inebriated during the incident and has been unable to maintain sobriety while this case was making its way through the court system.

Snipes-Ruiz also stated that Bear has been unable to successfully complete chemical dependency treatment and has previously been convicted of three felonies.

Court documents state that Bear hit a pedestrian at the intersection of 4th Avenue and 1st Street in Havre on May 25th, 2019. The injured man was flown to Great Falls with head injuries. He remained in the hospital for months and succumbed to the injuries in January 2020, according to Snipes-Ruiz.

As per the plea agreement, the the charges of failure to stop at an accident involving death or bodily injury, failure to give information and render aid, as well as the misdemeanors of driving while under the influence and unlawful possession of open alcoholic beverage container of a motor vehicle were dismissed.

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