Great Falls Man Charged as Funeral for Deputy Held

Authorities say Adam Sanchez Jr. hit and killed Deputy Joe Dunn during a car chase

By Associated Press

GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls man was on a “drug-fueled rampage” when he deliberately swerved his vehicle to strike and kill a sheriff’s deputy, Cascade County officials said in charging the man with deliberate homicide ahead of the deputy’s funeral on Thursday.

Adam Sanchez Jr., 40, is charged with killing Deputy Joe Dunn on Aug. 14 during a high-speed chase with deputies and state troopers. Dunn was standing outside his patrol car when he was struck in Black Eagle, according to a court statement signed by Great Falls Police Detective Keith Hodges.

Dashboard-camera footage from patrol cars in pursuit of Sanchez showed that he “knowingly swerved” to hit Dunn, Hodges’ affidavit said.

“At no point did it appear that Sanchez employed his brakes,” Hodges’ affidavit said.

Dunn, 33, died after being taken to a hospital. A funeral service held Thursday at Four Seasons Arena was attended by hundreds of people, including law-enforcement officials from across the state.

Sanchez made an initial appearance on a deliberate homicide charge Thursday in Justice Court in Chouteau County.

He had been held on a $2 million bond for violating the terms of his release in another case. County Attorney John Parker asked for an additional $3 million bond on the homicide charge, saying Sanchez had gone on a “drug-fueled rampage.”

“He should not be released, your honor,” Parker told Chouteau County Justice of the Peace Susan Spencer.

Parker previously said the amount of methamphetamine in Sanchez’s system was so high that he had to be hospitalized.

Public defender Matt McKittrick asked that Sanchez’s bail remain at $2 million. The request was denied.

Sanchez did not speak at the hearing other than to answer basic questions.

Sanchez’s mother, Susan Sanchez, told the Great Falls Tribune she had seen her son hours before the chase and she did not believe that he was impaired by drugs.

“He wasn’t high,” she said. “This time he was not using drugs.”

Sanchez is jailed in Fort Benton because the Cascade County jail is run by the sheriff’s office where Dunn worked.

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