LISTEN – County Attorney Releases First Ever Annual Report
For the first time ever, the Missoula County Attorney's Office has released an annual report covering the year 2015.
County Attorney Kirsten Pabst said the report will help clarify trends in crime activity and how her office has responded, with a view to future directions for her office.
Near the front of the report, Pabst listed some very high-profile cases, some that were heavily covered by the media.
"The first was obviously the Markus Kaarma case, and he was convicted of deliberate homicide and was sentenced to 70 years in the Montana State Prison," Pabst began. "Donald Town was a convicted sex offender that Jennifer Clark prosecuted. He was a level three predator and she was able to get a significant sentence on him also, life without parole, so he'll never abuse another child."
Pabst said her office had a busy 2015.
"We filed 662 new felony cases, and our total caseload was 1,687," she said. "That's about the same as last year, and bit less than the year before, reflecting a decline in the number of misdemeanors, but an increase in the number of felonies."
Pabst said she has taken major steps over the past year to redirect her staff into specific areas of concern to the Missoula community.
"I promised that I would take a look at our civil department and restructure it to reduce the amount of red tape of county government by helping more people," said Pabst. "One of the other huge changes that we've made is filling out our Special Victims Unit. Historically, we've just had one person trying to handle all those cases, to having six and a half full time people. Four are prosecutors, one which is co-located at the police department, and we've got an in-house crime victim witness coordinator, as well."
Pabst said she is sharing the information gleaned from the report with other law enforcement agencies to provide better service to Missoula County.