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Missoula Man Pleads Guilty to Negligent Homicide While Under the Influence

Tom Vineyard
photo by Peter Christian

Tom George Vineyard, 38, of Missoula, charged with driving onto a North 5th Street sidewalk on May 16, striking two sisters and killing one of them, has pleaded guilty to two felonies.

Wednesday morning, October 23, in Missoula District Court, Vineyard pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide while under the influence for the death of Roberta Demmert, 39, as well as negligent vehicular assault for the injuries suffered by her sister, Pamela Demmert, 41.

After a previous court appearance, Vinyard’s attorney Shandar Badaruddin said the penalties for the two crimes could send Vineyard to the Montana State Prison for up to 20 years.

“The more serious offense carries a penalty of one to 30 years in prison, with a substantial fine,” Badaruddin said. “The other serious count carries a term of one to 10 years with a serious fine, as well.”

District Judge Ed McClean set sentencing for January. He also granted a request from Badaruddin that Vineyard’s alcohol monitoring bracelet be removed. Vineyard has been enrolled since the incident in an alcohol treatment program.

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