Kalispell attorney charged with child endangerment

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A Kalispell attorney has been charged with one felony count of criminal child endangerment after police allege he drove drunk and crashed a vehicle with his son inside.

According to court documents, James Thomas McCormack, 45, was charged with the offense on June 25. The affidavit of probable cause filed by the Flathead County Attorney’s Office said a Montana Highway Patrol trooper responded to a single vehicle crash near 55 Many Lakes Drive at 5:34 p.m. Saturday, April 27.

The trooper saw a gray Honda Pilot in the ditch up against a tree and several emergency vehicles were at the scene. The trooper spoke with the driver of the Pilot, later identified as McCormack.

McCormack allegedly said “he came around the corner and ended up in the ditch.”

According to the complaint, McCormack’s 4-year-old son was in the vehicle at the time of the crash. The trooper said while speaking to McCormack, he smelled alcohol on his breath and saw that his eyes were red, watery and bloodshot.

The trooper said he noted signs of impairment during a standard field sobriety test.

After an ambulance took McCormack to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for treatment, the trooper received a warrant for a sample of McCormack’s blood.

Testing at the Montana State Crime Lab determined McCormack’s blood alcohol level was 0.228. The legal limit in Montana is 0.08.

Court documents indicate McCormack was to appear for a hearing Thursday, July 11, but it was canceled and hasn’t been rescheduled.

Additional court records show McCormack applied for a temporary reinstatement of his driver’s license on July 8.

According to the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, McCormack is listed in its directory.

McCormack faces a maximum 10 years in the Montana State Prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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