18-Year-Old Woman Pleads Guilty Following High-speed Chase

Montana Kelly pleaded guilty to theft, criminal possession and criminal mischief

By Justin Franz

An 18-year-old Kalispell woman who led police on a high-speed chase while high on methamphetamine, heroin and LSD pleaded guilty to three felonies in Flathead County District Court.

Montana Kelly signed a plea agreement in Judge Robert Allison’s court shortly before a petition-to-revoke hearing turned into a change-of-plea hearing on June 22. In accordance with the agreement, Kelly pleaded guilty to theft, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal mischief. Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of assault with a weapon, criminal endangerment and another theft count.

A previously deferred sentence stemming from a 2016 theft and criminal possession conviction was also revoked at the hearing. Kelly will appear in Flathead County District Court on Aug. 24 for sentencing. She is currently incarcerated at the Flathead County Detention Center.

According to court documents, in late April and early May, Kelly broke into multiple vehicles in the Kalispell area, stealing everything from firearms to a doctor’s stethoscope. On the morning of May 1, a Kalispell man reported that his Toyota pickup truck had been stolen. The man also reported that there was an AR-15 rifle in the backseat of the vehicle.

Two days later, a Kalispell police officer spotted the stolen vehicle and tried to stop it. After a brief pursuit, a male and female inside the vehicle stopped the car and fled the scene. The female dropped a purse with pills and Kelly’s identification card. Inside the vehicle, officers found a meth pipe, syringes, three wallets and several backpacks full of ammunition.

On the morning of May 4, a Kalispell-area woman reported waking up to the sound of her husband’s truck starting. The woman went outside and confronted a woman later identified as Kelly. When Kelly saw the woman, she got out of the truck and got into a nearby Subaru. The woman attempted to stop Kelly but she quickly put the vehicle in reverse and drove away, knocking the woman to the ground.

A short while later, a Whitefish police officer spotted a stolen vehicle on U.S. Highway 93. The officer tried to pull the vehicle over but a chase ensued, at times reaching 100 miles per hour. Eventually, the vehicle turned on Garland Lane and crashed through two different sets of metal gates. Kelly fled the scene on foot and evaded law enforcement for more than an hour in the woods. She was eventually arrested with the assistance of the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Whitefish Police Department, Montana Highway Patrol and Two Bear Air.

After she was arrested, Kelly allegedly admitted to using methamphetamine, heroin and LSD for more than a week and a half.

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