Pretrial Hearing Set in Barkus Boat Crash Case

By Beacon Staff

Attorneys are set to meet at a pretrial hearing next month in the case against state Sen. Greg Barkus, who faces several charges stemming from a Flathead Lake boat crash that injured all five people aboard, including U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg.

The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14 at the Flathead County Courthouse, with District Judge John McKeon attending by teleconference from his office in Phillips County. McKeon agreed to take over the case after a handful of judges recused themselves over concerns they posed a conflict of interest. The judges had worked with the Kalispell Republican on legislation affecting their courts.

Barkus has pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal endangerment and two counts of negligent vehicular assault for an Aug. 27 boat crash. Prosecutors say his alcohol level was about twice the legal limit the night he crashed his boat atop a steep rocky outcropping.

Attorneys are expected to discuss pretrial matters at next month’s hearing.

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