Fallon County District Court sentences two men

A Baker man was sentenced to four years in Montana State Prison after pleading guilty to felony sexual assault late last month.

Baker man pleads guilty to felony sexual assault


A Baker man was sentenced to four years in Montana State Prison after pleading guilty to felony sexual assault late last month.

Robert Lee Wood, 51, appeared Jan. 31 in 16th Judicial District Court in Baker for a sentencing hearing on one charge of felony sexual assault.

At time of Wood’s arraignment last year, he was charged with incest, for which the maximum punishment stands at 100 years in prison, if the victim was 12 years of age or younger and the offended was 18 years or older at the time of the offense.

But that charge was amended under a plea agreement.

District Judge Nickolas Murnion handed down Wood a sentence of 25 years in prison, with 21 of those years suspended, according to court documents.

It was stated that Wood knowingly had sexual contact with his 11-year-old adopted daughter between Sept. 1, 2013 and Nov. 30, 2013, according to court records.

In December 2016, Wood had changed his initial not guilty plea after an agreement was reached with the prosecution. As part of that agreement, Wood was to register as a level-one sex offender, pay a fine of $1,000, pay restitution to the victim’s mother and complete two phases of sexual offender treatment before his release from prison.

Wood first appeared in court for arraignment in July 2016, represented by a public defender. He was offered release from custody because he was the primary caretaker of his 13-year-old son, according to court records.

He was released on a $20,000 bond but could only travel from his home, besides to work, with permission from the court.


Court sentences Wibaux man to 10 years


A 51-year-old man from Wibaux faced a litany of charges related to a July 2016 incident in Fallon County.

Scott Matthew Thum was sentenced Jan. 31 in 16th Judicial District Court to 10 years in prison for criminal endangerment, a felony.

Thum faced six charges after he drove six-and-a-half miles through a construction zone at a high rate of speed when construction workers were on the ground and out of their vehicles, according to court records. The man had run two vehicles off the road, including a construction vehicle. He was under the influence of alcohol, according to documents.

On July 22, 2016, Thum had traveled along Highway 7, beginning at approximately mile marker 18, and continued north through the construction zone for several miles between Ekalaka and Baker. He continued until the stop near Lake Street and Wabasha Avenue according to court records.

It was stated in the records that Thum had taken a 22-gauge shotgun from an owner in the middle of the intersection of Lake Street and Harriet Avenue in Baker.

Officer Samuel Ferguson, a probation officer, testified in court to Thum’s lengthy arrest record, which included multiple arrests and convictions for assaultive crimes and nine prior DUIs over a 30-year period.

He recommended the court sentence accordingly.

In a plea agreement with the court, three of the six charges were dismissed. In turn he pleaded guilty to three counts, including criminal endangerment, driving under the influence and driving while his licensed was revoked.

District Judge Nickolas Murnion imposed the maximum sentence for the felony criminal endangerment count, handing down a sentence of 10 years in Montana State Prison.

Thum was also ordered to pay fines in the amount of $5,000, with $4,000 suspended.

He was also sentenced to be placed in an appropriate correctional facility or program for a term of not less than 13 months or more than two years to complete a residential alcohol treatment program.