The Missoula County Attorney’s Office charged 18 new criminal complaints this week. Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings appeared on KGVO’s Talk Back show Friday morning and he provided us with his report.

“There were 10 violent crimes or crimes against persons,” Jennings said. “There were two endangerment crimes. Those usually involve some sort of driving behavior and it is often alcohol or drug related. We had two property crimes. Those are usually thefts or fraudulently using credit cards. We had four drug crimes. Almost all drug cases in our community involve meth and or heroin. We didn’t have any administrative crimes this week.”

According to Jennings, they were reviewing three additional charges Friday morning.

“One of those is an arson charge,” Jennings said. “We spoke a couple weeks ago about a high number of arsons over the past year. We certainly don’t know the cause of that, but we will keep looking into underlying reasons for that type of behavior. We also had a fugitive from out of state and another assault or crime against persons.”

Jennings said a new trial started Friday morning with jury selection and the evidence, where the facts get presented, will start on Monday.

“That has been pretty much a weekly occurrence,” Jennings said. “We have been doing about one trial per week. The judges stack a whole bunch of cases on one date. Sometimes you don’t know which cases are going to go until the last minute. Obviously, with some of the easing of COVID restrictions, I think we are going to have even more trials. We are going to have multiple cases set each week, which gets more back to the norm before March of 2020.”

In addition, Jennings said the Missoula County Attorney’s Office is changing the way they track crime statistics because they want to be able to find patterns over time.

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