Tuesday afternoon in Judge John Sampson's Sheridan County Circuit Court, Chaze Dannels changed his “Not Guilty” plea to “No Contest” on a DUI charge stemming from a crash that occurred on Big Goose Road in the early morning hours of September 18th.
In exchange for the plea, Dannels was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with all but seven days suspended; put on one year unsupervised probation and ordered to receive an evaluation from Big Horn Mountain Recovery; and he must pay $1,500 in restitution to Ben Reynolds.
Dannels, who charging documents say had been drinking, was driving the car in which his girlfriend was a passenger. They struck a horse – not belonging to Mr. Reynolds – that had gotten loose and was in the middle of the roadway. The car went through Reynolds' fence, stopping between the corner of the house and a propane tank. Dannels had sustained minor injuries, but his girlfriend had to be transported to Billings. She has been steadily recovering from her injuries.
Restitution will go toward the replacement of the fence, as well as to repay Reynolds for the use of his equipment and labor to clean up the remains of the horse and bury it on his property, as well as cleaning up the crash debris.
Dannels works in Pinedale, and will split the seven days in jail. He reported to the Detention Center immediately after court Tuesday and will serve three days, returning to Sheridan for the remaining four days at the end of the month.