Posted: Dec 13, 2012 8:51 PM by David Jay (Billings)
BILLINGS - Justin Kiger of Billings will spend 10 years in the Montana State Prison for the death of his friend in a car crash last year.
Judge Susan Watters told Kiger, 24, on Wednesday that he never really changed his ways while on probation, and also defied a court order when he went to a bar the night of the crash.
Judge Watters sentenced Kiger to 15 years, with five of those years suspended, for negligent homicide, 10 years for failure to remain a the scene of a fatal accident, and five years for the tampering with evidence.
The sentences will run concurrently, so Kiger will serve 10 years in prison.
Kiger plead guilty to the three charges in September, admitting to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated in December 2011, and then crashing the car on Central Avenue which caused the death of 23-year-old Jack Harris.
Kiger also admitted he left the scene and then concealed his blood-covered clothing after the crash.
Before the judge gave the sentence, several family members testified with Harris's mother-in-law and parents asking Judge Watters to give the maximum sentence of 15 years. Kiger's mother testified on her son's behalf.
Kiger was already on probation for criminal endangerment and had a criminal record before the crash.