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Prezeau sentences Glazier to five years in prison

| March 16, 2004 11:00 PM

By Brent Shrum, Western News Reporter

A defendant who led police on a high-speed chase following a traffic stop is looking at spending the next five years in the state prison at Deer Lodge.

Richard Todd Glazier, 31, was sentenced by Judge Michael Prezeau on Monday to 10 years in prison with five years suspended.

Initially charged with three counts of criminal endangerment ? a felony ? along with misdemeanor charges of DUI, driving with a suspended license, failure to show proof of insurance, resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer, Glazier had pleaded to one count of criminal endangerment. In exchange for his plea, he received a recommendation from the county attorney¹s office for a five-year commitment to the state Department of Corrections with placement in a pre-release facility and inpatient chemical dependency treatment.

Last week, Prezeau informed Glazier and his court-appointed attorney, Ann German, that he was unable to accept the sentence recommended in the plea agreement. Prezeau pointed out that Glazier has seven felony convictions on his adult record and put the lives of law enforcement officers at risk when he fled instead of allowing himself to be arrested following a traffic stop along U.S. Highway 2 west of Libby last October.

After being pulled over near Radio Shack, Glazier led officers in a chase that reached speeds of up to 90 mph before pulling off the highway at his mother¹s home at Cedar Creek.

Glazier¹s mother, Diane Glazier, testified on Monday that her son is an alcoholic and needs inpatient treatment.

³You have to have tools to work with in order to maintain sobriety,² she said.

She testified that her son¹s criminal history is directly related to his alcohol abuse.

³None of the things that he has done have ever been done sober,² she said.

German told Prezeau that Glazier had attempted to enroll in the state¹s chemical dependency treatment center but had been rejected because he had maintained sobriety during a period of incarceration.

Prezeau said he found it hard to believe that Glazier had never been given the opportunity to receive treatment during the time he has spent behind bars. The judge noted three separate prison sentences since 1993, ranging from 13 months to nearly four years.

³It just astounds me that that could be the case,² he said.

Prezeau told Glazier a condition of his sentence is that he complete ³whatever chemical dependency treatment is available through the prison² before he will be eligible for parole.

Because the sentence was harsher than the one recommended in the plea agreement, Prezeau gave Glazier a week to consider withdrawing his plea and taking his case to trial. Prezeau cautioned Glazier that he could receive an even tougher sentence if he were to lose his case at trial, however.

In another case in which the sentence handed down was tougher than the one recommended in a plea agreement, Prezeau gave Daniel Keith Kuykendall a six-year suspended sentence instead of a deferred imposition of sentence that would have provided an opportunity for the conviction to be removed from the defendant¹s record.

Like Glazier, Kuykendall¹s sentencing was continued from last week after Prezeau announced that he wouldn¹t be able to follow the recommendation contained in the plea agreement.

Kuykendall, 22, pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon in connection with his arrest outside the Home Bar in Troy in December. He had been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, misdemeanor theft and trespass to a vehicle.

According to court documents, Kuykendall stole two .22-caliber revolvers out of a vehicle and pointed them at at least two people who confronted him.

One of the victims in the case reported that Kuykendall pulled the triggers on the revolvers in an attempt to fire them at him, but the guns were not loaded. The police officer who arrested Kuykendall reported in his affidavit that Kuykendall was ³extremely intoxicated and uncooperative.²

German, who represented Kuykendall as well as Glazier, told Prezeau that Kuykendall had been beaten ³rather severely² by the patrons of the bar prior to his arrest, losing some of his teeth in the process. One of the conditions of his sentence is that he reimburse the county for nearly $900 in medical costs.

³There has been a certain amount of Œstreet justice¹ imposed,² German said.

Prezeau told Kuykendall he¹s gotten off to a bad start in life, dropping out of school in the ninth grade and compiling ³a miserable juvenile record² along with some ³minor but troubling² adult offenses.

Prezeau said Kuykendall¹s behavior has to change or he¹ll be facing prison time.

³You can go down to Deer Lodge and fight with those people down there, but you¹re not going to do it on the streets here,² he said.

Kuykendall ³dodged the bullet² in stealing unloaded guns, or he could have been facing homicide charges, Prezeau said.