Theft suspect withdraws pleas

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SANDPOINT — An Oldtown wrecking yard operator charged with possessing stolen vehicles and methamphetamine rescinded his guilty pleas after a 1st District judge declined to adopt the terms of a plea agreement.

Dennis Earl Hiebert withdrew his conditional pleas on April 22, court records show. The withdrawals set the stage for a trial in June.

Hiebert will be tried on seven counts of grand theft by possession and possession of meth.

Hiebert’s defense counsel proposed a binding plea agreement in which Hiebert pleaded to three of the theft counts and the meth charge. The agreement further proposed a suspended prison term, five years of probation and $13,000 in restitution.

Judge John Mitchell, however, declined to adopt the recommended sentencing terms and advised Hiebert that he would retain jurisdiction over the defendant due to his prior criminal record, court records indicate.

When jurisdiction is retained, a defendant serves up to a year in prison before a court decides to place the person on probation or order him to serve additional prison time.

Deputies went to Mr. D’s Car Shop in Oldtown in search of two felony suspects who were reportedly at the business. The suspects were not located, although deputies ultimately discovered seven vehicles that were reported stolen and methamphetamine.

Hiebert’s attorney, Rex Finney, argued the evidence against his client should have been dismissed because it was gained in violation of his constitutional rights. Judge Benjamin Simpson, however, found that deputies complied with the plain view doctrine and denied the defense motion last year.

Hiebert’s trial is set to start on June 25.

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