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Francis Crowley

Francis Crowley

The 33-year-old man convicted for leaving and partially burying an infant in the woods outside Lolo Hot Springs last year now faces a federal gun charge.

Francis Crowley pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to illegal possession of a firearm. The indictment states Crowley, having been convicted of a felony, had a 12-gauge shotgun on the same day he was arrested for the incident in the woods. 

Last July, police first responded to reports of a man threatening to fire a gun at Lolo Hot Springs. Responding police spoke with witnesses, including the baby's mother, at the hot springs who said Crowley, who admitted to being exceptionally high that day, crashed a car with the baby. County and federal law enforcement spent the next several hours frantically searching the hillsides for the car and the baby, whom they found partially buried under twigs and branches, but alive. 

Crowley's public defender, John Rhodes, on Tuesday said he was "concerned for (Crowley's) competency" and asked U.S. Magistrate Jeremiah Lynch to enter a not guilty plea on his client's behalf. Lynch obliged. 

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The gun possession charge carries a maximum 10-year sentence in federal prison, as well as a three-year term of supervised release.

Crowley, now in custody of the U.S. Marshals, is set to appear for his next court hearing on May 8.

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