GLENDIVE — An eastern Montana jury has acquitted a former Absarokee man of a negligent homicide charge filed after Forest Dana was run over by a car and killed in July 2013.
Charges filed against Michael Thomas Holtz were dropped by Stillwater County in 2016 after prosecutors said no witness could positively say Holtz and not his twin brother was the driver.
The state refiled the charges in 2018, saying at least one witness was sure Holtz was driving while others offered alibis for his twin.
Prosecutors said Holtz had been drinking the night Dana died and witnesses had seen him speed down the alley where Dana’s body was found. Investigators found DNA on Holtz’s car that matched Dana, 27. An autopsy found Dana’s spinal cord was severed when a car drove over his head.
The case was tried in Glendive and the jury acquitted Holtz on Jan. 28, The Billings Gazette reported.
In 2016, Dana’s parents won a $4.6 million settlement against a bar that a judge said was negligent in serving alcohol to Holtz, who was a minor, on the night of Dana’s death.
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