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Suspected dog-napper facing felony charges

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | September 28, 2023 12:00 AM

A confrontation over the alleged abduction of a dog ended with the arrest of a Kalispell woman on multiple felony charges earlier this month.

Ashley Nicole Smith, 37, faces felony counts of criminal mischief and criminal possession of dangerous drugs after allegedly ramming her ex-boyfriend’s vehicle and threatening him with a gun on Kalispell’s west side on Sept. 23. Held at the county jail with bail set at $20,000, Smith is expected to appear before Judge Dan Wilson in Flathead County District Court for her arraignment on Oct. 5.

Kalispell Police officers arrested Smith after responding to a report of a motor vehicle accident on the 500 block of Ninth Avenue West about 9:21 a.m. that had turned into an armed confrontation, court documents said. The victim told officers his ex-girlfriend, identified as Smith, had rammed his car and threatened him with a gun.

Officials put the cost of damage to the victim’s vehicle at about $1,500.

According to the victim, Smith had previously taken the dog of a mutual friend, who was in the hospital, to a home on Lore Lake Road. The Lore Lake Road resident phoned the victim that morning to report that a woman had come to the home and whisked the animal away. They suspected Smith of the abduction, court documents said.

The victim reported driving to Smith’s 500 block Ninth Avenue West home and allegedly spotted her in her red Dodge pickup with the missing dog. Smith allegedly grew angry after the victim confronted her, ramming his vehicle.

Subsequently taking Smith to the Flathead County Detention Center, authorities searched her person and belongings, according to court documents. Officers allegedly found a glass pipe with a white residue and a plastic bag containing a crystalline substance suspected as methamphetamine in her purse, court documents said.

If convicted of criminal mischief, Smith faces up to 10 years in Montana State Prison and a $50,000 fine. Criminal possession of dangerous drugs carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and $5,000 fine.

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

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