- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A Bozeman man has pleaded guilty to charges that he aided a rape suspect after he escaped from police custody.

Andrew Charles Kranker pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony obstruction of justice in an agreement that calls for the dismissal of an evidence tampering charge.

District Judge Holly Brown scheduled sentencing for Nov. 18.

Prosecutors say suspect Kevin Briggs walked out of a police interview room early on Feb. 1 and went to Kranker’s apartment, where he stayed for about six hours.

William Michael Smith of Belgrade faces trial in December for a felony obstruction charge that alleges he gave Briggs a ride to Missoula, where Briggs bought a bus ticket and traveled west.

On Tuesday, Smith denied a drug distribution charge that alleged he sold heroin to an informant in September 2013.

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