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Kevin Briggs

Kevin Briggs

A February trial is scheduled for a Bozeman man charged with assaulting and trying to rape his former girlfriend and escaping police custody.

District Judge Mike Salvagni scheduled a seven-day trial for 28-year-old Kevin A. Briggs, to start on Feb. 17. Attorneys for Briggs asked the judge to dismiss charges Dec. 9, because they say police got rid of the alleged victim’s cellphone after making copies of selected calls and texts. Attorneys also say officers lacked suspicion to arrest Briggs and they asked that a felony drug charge be dropped because of a lack of probable cause.

Briggs was initially arrested Feb. 1 after his former girlfriend reported he may have drugged her, tried to rape her and strangled her when she resisted. While in custody, he walked out of an unlocked police interview room when no officers were watching him. After weeks of searching, U.S. Marshals arrested him in Portland, Oregon and booked him into the Gallatin County Jail on Feb. 21.

Briggs had pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault, attempted sexual intercourse without consent, assault on a peace officer, escape, failure to register as a sex offender while on the run for three weeks and criminal possession of dangerous drugs. He was required to register as a sex offender after being convicted of raping his former girlfriend in Helena in 2003 when he was 16 and she was 14 years old.

The Gallatin County Attorney had filed felony charges against five Bozeman residents on suspicion of aiding Briggs in his February escape. Following his escape, Briggs went to Tristan Anacker and Andrew Kranker's apartment at 316 S. 16th Ave., where Sherry Jackson and Cedric Allen Standish-Codding were also staying, just a few blocks from the Law and Justice Center.

Anacker and Kranker have been given three-year deferred sentences each after pleading guilty to felony charges involving them failing to tell police Briggs was in their shared apartment.

Standish-Codding was sentenced to 10 years in prison with five years suspended. He pleaded guilty to felony obstructing justice, telling the judge he used a Dremel tool to help Briggs out of his restraints. Jackson has pleaded not guilty. She’s set to go to trial in March 2015.

William Michael Smith of Belgrade has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge involving him giving Briggs a ride from Bozeman to Missoula hours after he escaped. Smith had agreed to plead guilty to a drug charge in a plea agreement that reduced the obstruction charge from a felony. Prosecutors said they will recommend a six-month jail term when Smith is sentenced Jan. 14.

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