- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A Wilsall man sentenced to 40 years in prison for escaping from a Bozeman pre-release center and holding his former foster mother hostage has been denied a new trial.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports (https://bit.ly/1xILEVC ) that Gallatin County District Court Judge John Brown on Thursday ruled that the request by 26-year-old Charles Dustin Rickett came after a 30-day deadline.

Rickett was convicted on Feb. 27 of aggravated kidnapping, intimidation and escape for the events in July 2012. He received the 40-year sentence on April 25.

“Mr. Rickett’s motion is untimely and denied as a matter of law,” Brown wrote.

Rickett says he’s innocent, and was set up by unknown men he had been partying with in Bozeman.

At his sentencing hearing, defense attorney Steven Scott filed a motion for a new trial citing new information that might have caused reasonable doubt in the jury.

He said Rickett’s victim requested restitution for four silver dollars she said were taken from the home, $75 in cash, and a broken toilet seat.

Scott argued that those items were never mentioned in police reports or statements made by the victim. He said the items could have been topics for cross-examination during the trial, raising reasonable doubt.

The victim testified that when she awoke at 7 a.m. on July 8, 2012, a man was standing in her bedroom. She testified that the man blindfolded her and tied her hands behind her back.

She said the man threatened to kill her, used duct tape to secure her to an office chair, and put a pillowcase over her head. She said she never saw the man, but testified he used phrases that she often used with foster kids.

Police arrested Rickett walking near the home shortly after the woman reported the kidnapping. Investigators also found a backpack with Rickett’s identification in her living room.

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

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