- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A Wilsall man who was convicted of escaping from a Bozeman pre-release center and holding his former foster mother hostage while demanding information to help him rob the bar where she worked has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

District Judge John Brown sentenced Charles Dustin Rickett on Wednesday, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1kcn3kU) reported. Rickett was ordered to pay $532 in restitution and have no contact with his former foster mother.

Rickett, 26, was convicted in February of aggravated kidnapping, intimidation and escape. Judge Brown said Rickett terrorized Diana Furuholmen in July 2012 when he broke into her Manhattan home and held her captive.

Furuholmen never saw her captor but testified that he used a phrase that she frequently used with her foster children. She said he blindfolded her, tied her hands behind her back and stayed at her house for hours, at times threatening to kill her.

Rickett was arrested while walking near Furuholmen’s house shortly after she reported the kidnapping.

No trace evidence linked Rickett to the crime scene, but his backpack was found at her residence.

Rickett said he had been drinking and smoking marijuana the previous night with a group of men in Bozeman. He said one man asked Rickett to rob Furuholmen and he said no. He said he awakened in the morning to find his backpack was missing.

Rickett testified that he was framed by one of those men and said he was in Manhattan the day of his arrest hoping Furuholmen would help him after he escaped from the pre-release center.

Defense attorney Steven Scott filed a motion seeking a new trial prior to Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.

“While we respect the jury’s verdicts in this case, we very respectfully disagree with the jury’s findings,” on the kidnapping and intimidation counts, Scott said.

Rickett previously served time in the Montana State Prison after being convicted in Park County on charges of theft, criminal mischief, conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit theft and accountability for money laundering.

In October 2012, while in the Gallatin County jail awaiting trial for the kidnapping charges, Rickett pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault after admitting he choked a fellow inmate.

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Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com

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