Idaho Man Gets 40 Years for Deadly Crash

By Beacon Staff

DEER LODGE — An Idaho man who killed a St. Ignatius woman in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 90 in southwestern Montana has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The Montana Standard reports that 42-year-old Christopher M. Kepler of Sandpoint received the sentence Friday in district court.

Kepler in September pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the January 2013 death of 57-year-old Patricia Graves. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of felony criminal endangerment.

Kepler pleaded guilty but mentally ill.

Judge Ray Dayton sentenced Kepler to 20 years on the negligent homicide charge with 10 suspended. He sentenced Kepler to 10 years each on the criminal endangerment charges, with all of it suspended. The sentences are to run consecutively.

Dayton committed Kepler to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.