3-time felon in jail one month after sentencing
Just one month after getting yet another chance to live a law-abiding life, a three-time convicted felon is back in jail.
John B. Newkirk, 47, was arrested Aug. 31 after allegedly being seen “walking around completely naked” in public by a FedEx driver on Meadow Lark Drive.
Montana Department of Corrections Probation/Parole Officer Brad Pinnick was advised and along with Stillwater County Sheriff’s deputies and Columbus police, responded to Newkirk’s house and arrested him on an alleged probation violation. That violation was failing to abide by all laws, according to Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office dispatch records.
Newkirk would not answer his door when officers knocked repeatedly. Once Pinnick got a key to the house from a family member and was unlocking the front door, Newkirk then opened it, according to dispatch records.
He has also been cited with misdemeanor indecent exposure in connection with the incident.
As of Wednesday, Newkirk remained in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility with bond set at $75,000.
Newkirk, who is also a Level 2 sex offender, was in district court one month ago for sentencing on a felony indecent exposure charge involving minors at Itch-Kep-Pe Park in 2016. Despite already having two felony convictions, he was given a 15-year suspended sentence at the joint recommendation of the Stillwater County Attorney’s Office and the defense. The Level 2 sex offender designation means Newkirk is likely to reoffend.
At the August hearing, Pinnick had recommended a sentence of 15 years with 10 suspended, based Newkirk’s prior history, his Level 2 offender designation and the risk he posed to the community.
Newkirk has twice received suspended sentences for felony crimes and twice allegedly violated his probation.
Newkirk’s prior felony convictions were for drugs in 2002 and a 2013 vehicular homicide.
According to court documents, Newkirk’s blood alcohol was .177 at the time of the June 13, 2013 accident that eventually killed 48-year-old Natalie LeBlanc and left Newkirk with substantial injuries.
LeBlanc was riding as a passenger on Newkirk’s motorcycle when Newkirk lost control on a curve on Highway 10, hit a guardrail and injured both of them. LeBlanc survived the initial crash but died four days later in a Billings hospital.
Neither was wearing a helmet. A passing motorist came upon the crash at 4:49 p.m. and called 911.
A plea agreement resulted in Newkirk receiving a 10-year suspended sentence to the DOC, $1,585 in fines and fees, 25 hours of community service and ordered to abide by 39 probation conditions. Some of those conditions included no alcohol and obeying all laws.