Last Thursday, Cascade County (MT) Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Dunn was killed in the line of duty during a high-speed chase.

Adam Sanchez Jr. is accused of killing Deputy Dunn. He is in custody, and his bond is set at $2 million dollars according to an article in today’s (Monday) Great Falls Tribune.

After reading about Sanchez’s long criminal history from several different sources, I was left wondering why Sanchez was even free to roam our streets. After reading some on-line comments, it appears I am not the only one wondering.

It’s pretty hard to find much information about court cases in Cascade County state district court from the comfort of your home, unless a local reporter writes about it. I think it’s an archaic system that needs to be brought into the 21st century.

According to the State of Montana (Department of Corrections), Adam Sanchez Jr. has a pretty long criminal history going back to 1994. The last entry on that website was in 2003. You can read it HERE.

According to a Friday story in the Tribune:

In November (2013), he (Sanchez) was charged with 10 felonies, including assault with a weapon, attempted robbery and multiple criminal endangerment counts in a Cascade County case where he was accused of trying to rob a man he shot at with a crossbow.

During his arrest for those 10 felonies he is accused of “leading them on a chase that resulted in a collision between a patrol car and another vehicle.”

After all that, the Tribune reported, “Sanchez was released in February on a $25,000 bond.”

But in April the Tribune disclosed that Sanchez was once again arrested “after being found in possession of a concealed .40-caliber handgun. He was also allegedly in possession of methamphetamine and resisted arrest, biting a gloved hand of the arresting officer.”

Then, the Tribune reported that Sanchez “pleaded guilty in July to two counts of felony criminal endangerment in a plea agreement that saw his other charges dismissed, court records say.”

Probably the most troubling part of the story is what the Tribune revealed next:

Soon after, he was released, without bond, through an agreement between his public defender and the Cascade County Attorney’s Office.

I’m pretty sure a judge would have the final say on the agreement between the public defender and the Cascade County Attorney’s Office.

If you’ve read my columns very much, you’ve seen me call out judges and prosecutors across Montana for letting people walk for having multiple drunken driving convictions.

It’s important as the pieces of this tragic puzzle are put together that the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and the local judge (if applicable) answer why they felt Adam Sanchez Jr. deserved to be released from custody.

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  1. […] after I learned about Sanchez being free, I wrote a column called “Why?” Tribune reporter Eric Dietrich attempted to get answers from County Attorney John Parker. After […]

  2. […] Last Monday, I asked this question: […]

  3. If you really want someone to address that “archaic system” I would suggest approaching the legislature. There isn’t anywhere near the money available for the functional upgrades the judicial system needs let alone those that you are suggesting.

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