Woman denies felony criminal endangerment charge
A woman has denied a felony criminal endangerment charge stemming from a serious single vehicle traffic accident on Nye Road in which she was injured.
Jennifer Ellison, 40, appeared in 22nd Judicial District Court last Thursday and pleaded not guilty to one felony count of criminal endangerment and misdemeanor counts of a second offense of DUI, driving while suspended or revoked and failure to show insurance.
She was released on her own recognizance but under court-imposed conditions that require her to abide by a 10 p.m. curfew and to utilize either a SCRAM or Soberlink device to monitor any alcohol intake.
Because Ellison suffers from what her defense attorney called a “traumatic brain injury” and is on medications, Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde was granted a request for authorities to be given a list of all those medications.
According to court documents, Ellison was reported seen driving a Jeep westbound on Nye Road gradually swerving from the shoulder of the road to across the centerline. At one point Ellison was allegedly driving in the oncoming lane and caused an eastbound vehicle carrying four people to drive into a ditch to avoid a head-on collision.
A short time later a witness reported watching Ellison’s Jeep go off the right hand side of the road at a high rate of speed, hit an embankment and roll several times, partially ejecting Ellison and leaving her arm pinned, according to court documents. Fire and ambulance crews lifted the Jeep up and Ellison was able to get herself out of the vehicle and was described as “being intoxicated, incoherent and smelled of an alcoholic beverage,” according to court documents.
She was taken to the Stillwater Billings Clinic and when approached by a Montana Highway Patrol officer, became belligerent and began screaming at the trooper to “get the ---- out” while covering her ears and shouting and singing when he attempted to read her rights, according to court documents. The trooper stopped contact at that time so Ellison “would not seriously injure herself with her belligerent and out of control behavior since the seriousness of the defendant’s injuries were still being assessed by medical personnel,” according to court documents.