24-year-old Lydia Morrison, represented by public defender Erin Wardell, was arraigned in 4th Judicial District Court Tuesday morning on four separate counts.
The charges allege that on January 25, 2010, Morrison, while under the influence of alcohol with a .08% BAC, intentionally operated a vehicle and used it as a weapon with intent to cause bodily injury to Vernon Nomee, and another male, Shannon Nomee.
Counts 1 and 3 are Felony Aggravated Assault & Battery and each carries a possible sentence of up to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Counts 2 and 4 are Felony Aggravated DUI and each carry a possible sentence of up to ten years in prison, a fine of no less than $2,000 and no more than $5,000; or both. Morrison plead “Not Guilty” to all four counts.
Wardell asked Judge John Fenn to reduce Morrison's bond and allow her to be put into her mother's custody, citing cooperation with law enforcement and her efforts to fulfill other commitments in a Montana jurisdiction. But prosecutor for the State, Deputy County Attorney Christopher LaRosa, told Judge Fenn that Morrison poses a danger to society and also is a flight risk.
LaRosa also said that her alleged crime caused traumatic brain injury to Shannon Nomee, so much so that he'd had to be life-flighted to St. Vincent's in Billings. He'd also sustained severe leg fractures, and was on a respirator for a month. He then had to be transferred for another month to a different facility in Billings, and then to a facility in Casper, finally ending up in the care of RENEW in Sheridan.
Judge Fenn denied the request to lower Morrison's bond and she is to remain incarcerated at the Sheridan County Detention Center. A trial is scheduled for March 2nd and 3rd, with a Pre-Trial Conference set for February 3rd at 9:30 am.