St. Ignatius woman calls $500,000 bail for 10-year-old grandson excessive


ST. IGNATIUS - A 10-year-old Mission Valley boy is at a detention center in Galen on $500,000 bail.

The boy was in trouble a year ago on accusations of burglary and theft. Now an incident at his school has led to his detention and the huge bail amount.

The case hinges on a mental health test that court workers want. They claim the family didn't get one when told to after the original accusations of burglary and theft.

The youngster is being held at Galen, 135 miles from his home in St. Ignatius.

According to a court report, the boy grabbed a metal desk at school, threw it out the door, shouted at the principal, and began banging his head against a window.

The attorney said the boy's bad behavior, especially at school, was escalating with two of his classmates injured because of that behavior.

County Attorney Cory Allen had recommended bail be set at $50,000. But District Court Judge Kim Christopher upped it to $500,000.

The boy's family was prepared to post the smaller amount. The court wanted assurance such an evaluation be done, hence the $500,000 bail.

NBC Montana met with the youngster's grandmother and aunts at their home in St. Ignatius. The women claim  the court has been inflexible, putting a child in an unfamiliar, scary situation, far away from his family.

"Even hardened criminals don't have bail set that high," said the boy's grandmother, Dorinda Buck.

"He's just lost," said Buck, "There's no kids his age. I told him to pray every night that God's going to work something out for him to get out and come home. Every time I see his basketball, his skateboard," said Buck, "there's tears in my eyes."

The court will hold a hearing Wednesday to possibly schedule a neuro-psychological evaluation on Thursday.

A source also said it's possible the boy could be released on his own recognizance.

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