News & Features

Special Prosecutor Folds Case Against Former Missoula Deputy

Missoula County sheriff's deputy accused of choking a handcuffed man in 2017

MISSOULA — The case of a former Montana sheriff’s deputy accused of choking a handcuffed man during an arrest in 2017 has been resolved through a deferred prosecution agreement.

A deferred prosecution agreement means a charge of mistreating prisoners will be wiped from former Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Hartsell’s record if he completes the terms of the agreement.

The Missoulian reports the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it can be refiled if Hartsell violates the agreement.

Lake County Attorney Steve Eschenbacher says Doug Hartsell is prohibited from working in law enforcement over the agreement’s one-year term.

Eschenbacher said Monday he didn’t believe he had enough evidence to secure a conviction at trial, and that the victim had been uncooperative.

Milt Datsopoulos, Hartsell’s attorney, was not immediately available for comment.