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Man who spat at police, bit store employee enters guilty plea

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | September 22, 2022 12:00 AM

The man accused of biting a supermarket employee while stealing bottles of wine and spitting on Kalispell Police officers following his subsequent arrest pleaded guilty to amended charges in Flathead County District Court this week.

Robert Eugene McCarty, 35, acknowledged Sept. 20 fighting with store loss prevention personnel during the July 13 theft from a Kalispell grocer. He admitted to biting the employee, hard enough to draw blood. Asked if he spat at responding police officers by defense attorney Nick Aemisegger, McCarty answered: “Correct.”

McCarty, who has remained in county jail with bail set at $75,000, was on the docket for a bail modification hearing. Instead, Aemisegger told Judge Amy Eddy that McCarty had reached a deal with prosecutors.

Authorities initially charged McCarty with felony robbery and misdemeanor assault with a bodily fluid. In exchange for guilty pleas, prosecutors amended the former charge to criminal endangerment.

As per the agreement, they will recommend he serve a five year suspended sentence with the state Department of Corrections for criminal endangerment and a suspended one year sentence in the county jail for misdemeanor assault with a bodily fluid. The sentences will run concurrent and McCarty will receive credit for time served.

McCarty also has agreed to pay restitution in the form of covering medical bills for the people he admitted attacking. Under questioning from Deputy County Attorney Amy Kenison, McCarty admitted telling the people he bit and spat at that he hoped they would contract AIDS.

During his time on the stand, McCarty asked to address the court. Saying he was a survivor of abuse, a visibly distraught McCarty said he fled Texas for Montana, which he considered a safe harbor. He described the charges against him as a wake up call.

“I’m a little grateful for the opportunity to be here,” he said.

Eddy, though saying she sympathized with him if his allegations of assault were true, chided him for his behavior upon coming to the state.

“If Montana is your safe place to be, you cannot come here and steal from local businesses and spit at local law enforcement,” she said.

Eddy set McCarty’s sentencing for Oct. 27.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.

photo

Robert Eugene McCarty heads to the defendant's table in Flathead County District Court for a Sept. 20 change of plea hearing. (Derrick Perkins/Daily Inter Lake)

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