A Missoula man, Roger McCrea, appeared before District Court Judge Leslie Halligan on Wednesday afternoon to be officially arraigned on a charge of aggravated assault after he allegedly attacked an elderly man that stemmed from an incident in April.

Judge Halligan addressed the defendant during the arraignment.

“Mr. McCrea, you've had a chance to review the allegations the state has made, and they're alleging that you committed an aggravated assault on or about April 27th of 2021,” said Judge Halligan. “And you understand that that charge could carry a maximum possible penalty if you were convicted of 20 years at the Montana State Prison and a $50,000 fine?”

“Yes,” said McCrea.

“And have you had a chance to review your rights and discuss them with Mr. Mandelko?” she asked.

“Yes”, he said.

“Is it your desire to enter a not guilty plea to this charge today?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“So the not guilty plea will be entered.”

Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings provided some background of the story.

“The allegations in this case are essentially that a road rage incident or frustration between two drivers turned into an attack on an innocent person near the Fort Missoula Regional Park back in April of this year,” said Jennings. “The defendant Roger McCrae appeared in court today for his arraignment, which is sort of kicking off the procedural steps that the court system goes through to eventually determine outcome in the case.”

Due to privacy issues for the victim. Jennings could not provide a great deal of detail about the incident and the injuries suffered.

“The nature of aggravated assault is that the injuries have to be pretty bad,” he said. “So you know our thoughts and prayers are obviously with him as he continues to heal, but I don't want to share too much more respecting the privacy of his condition.”

Jennings said McCrea was released on his own recognizance without bail after the incident and appeared in District Court on Wednesday.

McCrea’s next hearing will be on July 28 before Judge Halligan.

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