Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Kalispell man sentenced for threatening judge

Daily Inter Lake | January 13, 2021 12:00 AM

A Kalispell man accused of threatening a Flathead County District Court judge was sentenced Tuesday morning.

Scott Peter Bolt Jr., 26, pleaded guilty in November to one felony count of threats and other improper influence in official and political matters in Flathead County District Court.

Bolt received a five-year suspended sentence to the state Department of Corrections from Missoula County District Judge Jason Marks, who appeared telephonically.

Bolt spoke briefly during the hearing and after.

“I want to thank the Flathead County Detention Center for getting me the meds I needed and for the people who work there and for the nurses, doctors and psychologists who have helped me,” Bolt said. “They went out of their way for me.”

Bolt’s attorney, Daniel Wood, said his client has been working full time as a cook at a restaurant in the valley since he was released from jail in November.

“I think they’re the best employer in town,” Bolt said. “They employ disabled people and they’ve been my source of stability.”

Wood spoke about Bolt and how he’s worked to make positive changes in his life.

“The pre-sentence investigation for someone who has two violent offenses is one I’ve not seen often,” Wood said. “It’s an issue of treatment and medication and when his medication isn’t available there’s been issues.

“But he’s taken steps to make sure he always has his medication and he’s taken full responsibility for his actions,” Wood said. “He’s also proven to be a delightful and intelligent man and I feel the plea agreement is appropriate.”

Judge Marks said he believed the suspended sentence was warranted due to the mental-health aspect of the case.

“I’m going to rely on you to maintain your medications,” Marks said to Bolt.

Bolt faced 10 years in the Montana State Prison, but according to his plea deal, his suspended sentence will run consecutive to a 15-year sentence, 10 suspended, for a conviction in 2013 where he pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon. Bolt was accused of using a hunting knife while assaulting a man.

Flathead County Deputy Attorney Alison Howard said District Judge Heidi Ulbricht was in agreement with the plea deal negotiated by both sides.

According to court documents, Bolt was accused of threatening to kill himself July 13, 2020, in a courtroom where Judge Ulbricht was presiding.

In charging documents, Bolt allegedly called Flathead County dispatch on July 4 to report he was going to kill himself July 13. He allegedly said he needed Ulbricht to grant him a new trial in the 2013 incident and he intended to kill himself.

The call was transferred to the county Sheriff’s Office despite Bolt’s request he not speak to law officers. He ended the call and an officer was unable to reach Bolt by phone.

A few hours later, a friend of Bolt called the Sheriff’s Office and said she had seen a post on social media about committing suicide. The friend emailed the post to officers.

It allegedly said to Ulbricht, “if you do not give me a retrial, I am going to walk into your lightwood courtroom with a knife held up against my neck, and then I will calmly approach the front of your courtroom, not presenting a threat to anyone other than myself rest assured of that, but I will stand in front of you and show you what it looks like when someone is intent fully stabbed with a knife.”

Bolt also allegedly wrote “You have until July 13, if this does not make a difference by then, then I will kill myself in the courtroom.”

Then, on July 6, Bolt filed the same statement he posted on social media in the Flathead County Clerk of Court.

When Ulbricht learned of the filing, she contacted the Sheriff’s Office to express her concern for her safety and the safety of court staff.

On July 7, two county Probation and Parole officers met with Bolt at the Probation Office in Kalispell. He was taken into custody and his vehicle was searched. A 3- to 4-inch lock-blade knife was found in the vehicle.

In 2017, Bolt filed a motion in District Court to withdraw his guilty plea in the 2013 case. Bolt said he pleaded guilty for 10 years with five suspended.

Bolt said he should have been allowed to withdraw his plea or renegotiate a plea agreement. Ulbricht denied the motion.

Judge Ulbricht also filed for a temporary order of protection, which was granted July 10 by Judge Robert Allison. A second order of protection was issued July 23 by Judge Robert Allison. It doesn’t expire until July 23, 2021.

Bolt also received credit for time served of 133 days before his release last fall.

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