Billings Judge Orders New Hearing - News, Sports and Weather

Billings Judge Orders New Hearing

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Last week a sentence handed out by a Billings judge in a rape case drew national outrage.

Judge G. Todd Baugh ordered Stacey Rambold, the former Billings Senior High teacher who admitted having sexual contact with a 14-year old student, to 30 days in prison for breaking terms of his plea agreement.

Today, Judge Baugh says the sentence he imposed may have been illegal.

Judge Baugh says Stacey Rambold's sentencing memorandum cited thirty days as the mandatory minimum amount of jail time, but after the court reviewed Montana code, Judge Baugh says the minimum is actually two years.

After imposing the sentence, Judge Baugh says the County Attorneys did not object or inform the court of the applicable mandatory minimum.

Judge Baugh says imposing a sentence with less than the mandatory minimum is illegal.  So the judge has ordered a new hearing for Rambold on Friday afternoon to likely impose a stricter sentence.

A Montana Criminal Attorney and County Attorney Scott Twito state this afternoon that a judge's oral pronouncement is typically deemed as final.

Twito says he's never seen anything like this in Yellowstone County in the last 15 years.


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