Nov. 25—A Marion man accused of fleeing law enforcement during a traffic stop and later being uncooperative with sheriff’s deputies pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in Flathead County District Court this month.
Jeffery George Armstrong Jr., 40, was arraigned Nov. 17 before Judge Heidi Ulbricht on a felony charge of criminal endangerment and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. Ulbricht scheduled an omnibus hearing for March 8 with a pretrial conference to follow on April 26.
Authorities began pursuing Armstrong after he allegedly sped past a Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputy on East Idaho Street in Kalispell about 8:22 p.m., Nov. 8. The deputy caught up with the Dodge pickup and noted its speed as roughly 80 miles per hour, court documents said. The two vehicles were in a 25 mile per hour zone at the time, according to court documents.
The deputy hit his emergency lights, prompting Armstrong to allegedly accelerate, reaching around 90 miles per hour. He also began swerving around traffic on the road and sped onto Montana 35, court documents said. Allegedly running through a red light at Helena Flats Road, he forced another vehicle off of the roadway.
According to court documents, Armstrong’s pickup came to a stop at the intersection of Montana 35 and Montana 206. There, he allegedly initially refused orders to exit the truck. Eventually, he got out, but then refused to comply with follow-up directions “until non-lethal rounds were deployed,” court documents said.
Officials on scene recovered an empty alcohol container in the bed of the pickup, according to court documents. Law enforcement officials at the scene described him as boasting slurred speech and poor balance. He also smelled of alcohol, court documents said.
Authorities took him to the county jail after he refused tests to detect alcohol in his system, according to court documents. He has since been released on his own recognizance.
Armstrong is required to live in Marion and undergo alcohol monitoring pending the outcome of his case, according to documents filed in district court.
If convicted, Armstrong faces up to 10 years in state prison and a $50,000 fine for criminal endangerment as well as up to six months in county jail and a $500 fine for resisting arrest.
News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or [email protected].