Not guilty plea in crash case

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SANDPOINT — A Cocolalla man accused of failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving a Lake Pend Oreille School District student pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Jason Dwight Newsome’s plea sets the stage for a jury trial in 1st District Court in July. He is free on his own recognizance while the case is pending.

Newsome, 37, is accused of accidentally striking a 7-year-old boy waiting for a school bus in October of last year. Newsome, according to an Idaho State Police report, delivered the boy to his nearby home, but left without identifying himself.

Newsome was identified as the driver after his wife called Bonner General Hospital and said she accidentally struck the boy.

However, Jason Newsome admitted being the driver and he and his wife were threatened with arrest on obstruction charges, court records show.

Newsome was initially charged with failing to report an accident and driving without privileges. A felony charge of leaving the scene was later added due to the extent of the boy’s injuries, which included a fractured leg.

Newsome was ordered to stand trial after on the felony offense following a preliminary hearing in Bonner County Magistrate Court last month. Relatives of the boy testified that Newsome was the person who drove the boy to their home. A state trooper, meanwhile, testified that Newsome confessed to being the driver of the pickup which struck the boy.

Judge Justin Julian ruled that Newsome fulfilled his obligation as a motorist by rendering aid, but fell short when it came to providing his name.

The status of the lesser charges is unclear. Online court records simultaneously show that Newsome is awaiting both trial and sentencing.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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