Man charged in fatal DUI pleads not guilty

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A man accused of negligent homicide in a DUI crash more than three years ago pleaded not guilty Thursday in the Flathead County District Court.

Jesse Lamont Green, 40, of Kalispell, was originally a fugitive after an alleged DUI crash that killed 29-year-old Kalispell woman Loretta Brown on May 14, 2015.

Green was brought back from Manassas, Virginia last month and briefly lodged in the Flathead County Jail before he was released on his own recognizance.

Montana Highway Patrol had issued a warrant for his arrest after filing charges in March 2016 in relation to the crash that occurred on Montana 206, south of Columbia Falls.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper David Mills responded to the scene of a one-vehicle crash near milemarker 8.9 on Montana 206 at about 5:53 a.m. He said he saw a 2007 Chevy Tahoe on its roof in a field. He also reported tire marks on the road and estimated that the driver over-corrected five times before crashing.

Both Green and Brown were thrown from the Tahoe. Brown died at the scene and Green was taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for his injuries before Mills arrived at the scene.

At the time, it wasn’t known which person was driving the Tahoe, but after an investigation, police believed Green was behind the wheel, according to the court documents.

Mills reportedly spoke with Brown’s brother who said Brown didn’t own a car and was uncomfortable driving. He also said she had a learning disability that prevented her from getting a driver’s license.

Police said that evidence collected at the scene showed that Brown’s blood was found on an airbag on the passenger side of the Tahoe. Her blood test also showed that she hadn’t ingested any alcohol or dangerous drugs.

According to the court report, a sample of Green’s blood taken at the hospital was analyzed at the Montana State Crime Lab; it was determined that his blood alcohol level was 0.103 shortly after the crash.

Court documents also show that Green pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in 2010 after police said he threatened another man with a knife.

He received a six-month suspended sentence in the county jail for that offense.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker can be reached at 406-758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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