- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Gov. Steve Bullock has appointed Chinook attorney Yvonne Laird as judge for Montana’s 17th Judicial District, which covers Blaine, Phillips and Valley counties.

Laird replaces retiring Judge John McKeon, who came under fire recently for giving a 60-day jail sentence to an eastern Montana man who pleaded guilty to raping his 12-year-old daughter. McKeon, who had earlier announced his plans to retire at the end of November after 22 years on the bench, said the sentence was allowed under state law.

Laird received her bachelor’s degree from Concordia College and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana. She has worked for Montana Legal Services, has been the Blaine County attorney and currently owns her own law practice.

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