Vehicular homicide probationer admits exposure
A Columbus man on probation from a fatal motorcycle accident has admitted to intentionally exposing himself to a group of girls at Itch-Kep-Pe Park.
John Newkirk, 46, pleaded guilty last week in district court to one felony count of indecent exposure. One misdemeanor count of indecent exposure will be dismissed under the terms of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
In return, the Stillwater County Attorney’s Office will recommend a sentence of 15 years to the Montana State Prison with all that time suspended.
The crime carries a 4-year mandatory minimum prison sentence unless an exception is found, which prosecutors indicated to Judge Blair Jones is the case.
Newkirk admitted to exposing himself to the girls who were ages 14 to 19 at the time.
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered, as well as a psycho-sexual evaluation. Sentencing was set for March 23, 2017.
THE NEW CASE
According to court documents, in February 2016 Newkirk knowingly exposed himself and sexually aroused himself to minors at Itch-Kep-Pe Park under the age of 17.
A total of four teenage girls saw Newkirk expose himself as he stood near his pickup truck. The females flagged down a Columbus Police officer and reported what had happened.
VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CASE
Newkirk is on probation from a June 13, 2013 fatal motorcycle accident that killed a woman and seriously injured him.
According to court documents, Newkirk’s blood alcohol was .177 as he drove his motorcycle on Highway 10 with Natalie LeBlanc riding as a passenger. Newkirk lost control on a curve and hit a guardrail. Tragically, 48-year-old LeBlanc died four days later at a Billings hospital.
Neither was wearing a helmet. A passing motorist came upon the crash at 4:49 p.m. and called 911.
Newkirk pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. A plea agreement resulted in Newkirk receiving a 10-year suspended sentence to the Department of Corrections (DOC), $1,585 in fines and fees, 25 hours of community service and ordered to abide by 39 probation conditions.