The Missoula County Attorney’s Office charged 15 new felony criminal cases this week. According to County Attorney Kirsten Pabst, four of those involved crimes against persons.

“One of those was an assault with a weapon and one was a partner or family member assault,” Pabst said. “Additionally, we charged two separate cases of sexual intercourse without consent and we currently have warrants out for those individuals. We charged two felony DUIs and one criminal endangerment case. In the latter, the defendant was found speeding 100 miles per hour on highway 93, continued to lead deputies on a high speed chase, and nearly struck a semi causing the truck to slam on its breaks. The defendant stopped, but then continued with a foot pursuit.”

That particular defendant was eventually apprehended. Pabst said her office also charged one theft case several drug cases.

“We charged one theft case involving someone stealing a catalytic converter and then being in the vicinity of a stolen car,” Pabst said. “There were six new felony drug cases, five of which were methamphetamine and one was possession of heroin.”

Because of the risks surrounding COVID-19, the Missoula County Jail has been trying to limit the number of people that are there and Pabst said judges are tending to rule on the side of release.

“It is still a two prong analysis, whether the defendant presents an imminent risk to community safety or him/herself, or whether or not they’re a flight risk,” Pabst said. “To determine the latter, we look very closely at their criminal history and whether there are previous violent offenses.”

Pabst said community safety is still their top priority.