Flathead District Judge Amy Eddy imposed a six-month deferred sentence Wednesday for a former student convicted of a felony in a case of extensive vandalism at Flathead High School.
Former Flathead High wrestler Logan Wilson, 18, apologized in court after explaining the circumstances which led to the charge. He previously had pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief as part of plea agreement in which one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass was dismissed. A deferred sentence allows Wilson the opportunity to have the felony conviction taken off his criminal record if he successfully completes probation.
“I’m really sorry for what I did,” Wilson said. “I would like to make amends to everyone I did wrong and move on.”
Wilson said he was drinking alcohol provided by a friend’s parent the night of May 20 when he received a text about a group of students who intended to play a senior prank.
Wilson said someone was supposed to have a key to the building, but it ended up not working. By the time he got there, someone had broken a window and students had strewn cat litter, shaving cream and red plastic cups in the halls.
Wilson said it was only his third time having alcohol in his system, and after “quite a few” beers, he took the vandalism to a whole different level. A few days before the incident Wilson said he had been cited for being in possession of alcohol.
He ripped a water fountain from the wall, broke an interior window, damaged a computer and projector and urinated on the floor. By the end of the night, more than $5,000 in damage had been done.
“I took things too far, broke things, did things I would regret,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he apologized to school staff, his peers and his former coaches, and paid the entire amount of restitution owed in the case. Wilson had hoped to go to Montana State University in Bozeman, but he used his college funds on restitution, so he now plans to enter the military in hopes of furthering his education.
Wilson’s wrestling coach and school board member Steve Davis said he was surprised by Wilson’s conduct. He also testified that the school board did not want the students involved to face felony charges. Eighteen other individuals were charged with misdemeanor trespass and criminal mischief in the case.
“As a general consensus I think the rest of the board agreed that we didn’t want any of the students to receive a felony charge,” Davis testified.
Wrestling volunteer Scott Harrison also testified that he was surprised to see Wilson involved in the case.
“He’s a pretty quiet, reserved kid,” Harrison said. “It was shocking to me.”
Harrison said he thinks Wilson has learned a lesson.
“I think it scared the crap out of him,” Harrison said.
Prosecutor Stacy Boman had asked for a longer, two-year deferred sentence, but Wilson’s attorney asked for a six-month unsupervised deferral.
Eddy blended the two recommendations, and ordered Wilson to serve six months of supervised probation.
She stressed that the amount of damage done to the school “cannot be characterized genuinely as a school prank,” but also noted that Wilson has made full restitution in the case and has remained law abiding since the incident.
Reporter Megan Strickland can be reached at 758-4459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.