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MT: Woman pleads guilty to endangerment for shooting husband while hunting

Woman pleads guilty to endangerment for shooting husband while hunting

December 17, 2010

A woman who said she accidentally shot and killed her husband pleaded guilty to a felony criminal endangerment charge Thursday in Cascade County District Court.

Bette Jo White admitted to accidentally shooting her husband, Ronald Lynn White, in the head while their car was stopped on the side of Highwood Road on the evening of Feb. 21. White said she was aiming a handgun at a coyote out of her husband's driver's side window while she sat in the passenger seat of their car.

An affidavit from the Cascade County Sheriff's Office states that White told responding officers she had smoked marijuana and taken prescription drugs while she and her husband were in Fort Benton that day. Ronald White also was drinking before the shooting, according to the affidavit.

White's nonbinding plea agreement stipulated that the state will recommend a 10-year suspended sentence in exchange for her guilty plea, but it's not clear if District Judge Dirk Sandefur, who questioned White extensively before accepting her plea, will accept the recommended sentence.

Her sentencing was set for Jan. 27.

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