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Repeat DUI offender sentenced

A man who was arrested for his sixth drunken-driving offense the
day after his daughter killed a woman in a drunken-driving crash
was sentenced Tuesday in District Court.

Burton Fisher Jr., 55, was sentenced to 13 months with the state
Department of Corrections for felony DUI. Judge Russell Fagg also
recommended Fisher participate in a state alcohol treatment
program, imposed a $1,000 fine and ordered Fisher to spend three
years on probation.

Fisher thanked the judge for allowing him to be released without
bond earlier this year so he could attend an alcohol treatment
program in California. Fagg noted that Fisher had taken “dramatic
steps” to improve his life since his arrest.

Fagg dismissed several misdemeanor charges as part of a plea
agreement in the case.

Fisher was arrested Feb. 23 after a Billings police officer saw
a pickup truck cross the centerline near the intersection of Shiloh
Road and Central Avenue. A breath test showed Fisher had a
blood-alcohol level of 0.232 percent, nearly three times the legal
limit.

Fisher has prior DUI convictions in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994 and
2001.

The day before his arrest, Fisher’s daughter, Tawney
Fisher-Jones, was arrested for vehicular homicide for a
drunken-driving crash that killed a longtime Billings educator.

Merry Jane Trewhella, 59, was killed when a pickup truck driven
by Fisher-Jones ran a red light and hit her car at the intersection
of King Avenue West and 29th Street West. Fisher-Jones had a blood
alcohol level of between 0.228 percent and 0.245 percent.

Two hours before the fatal crash, Fisher-Jones was found
intoxicated in the truck that was stuck in snow on Alderson Avenue.
A friend had taken the keys to the truck before officers arrived,
and she was not arrested.Â

Fisher-Jones later pleaded guilty and was sentenced in
September to 30 years at the Montana Women’s Prison, with 10 years
suspended.

Fisher told a judge in March that on the day of his arrest he
was distraught after learning of his daughter’s involvement in the
fatal drunken-driving crash.

Fisher received the standard sentence for felony DUI, which sets
the maximum prison term at 13 months for a fourth or subsequent DUI
conviction. Fisher could not be sentenced as a persistent felony
offender because his last conviction occurred more than five years
ago. Â

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