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Mathis trial begins

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The trial for a man accused of negligent homicide in the drowning death of his three-year-old son began Tuesday as the prosecution gave opening arguments.

"What this trial is about is that the negligent actions of the defendant on June 22nd, 2011 led to his son's death," says Prosecuting Attorney, Tara Harris.

Prosecutors told the jurors they'll present evidence and testimony Leo Mathis was under the influence of alcohol the day his son was swept away and drowned in prickly pear creek in East Helena last summer. The prosecution also called their first witness Tuesday, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. Dutton testified about responding to the scene after a 911 call came in. He says he interviewed Mathis about the events that led to his son being swept away.

"As I talked to him I felt that he showed signs of impairment," says Sheriff Dutton.

"What do you mean by that, please?" says Leo Gallagher

"Being under the influence of either some type of substance that was either alcohol - I could smell an alcoholic beverage on his breath," says Sheriff Dutton.

The trial continues Wednesday morning in District Court Judge, Jim Reynolds' courtroom. Leo Mathis' defense attorney did not make an opening argument, asking to reserve that opportunity for later.

 

Story by Kaelyn Kelly, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2012 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Tagged as:

Sheriff Leo Dutton, Leo Mathis, Leo Gallagher, negligent homicide, Mathis trial, Jim Reynolds'

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