Missoula man changes plea in 2013 kidnapping case

Hurley gets 2 years for felony theft

Joseph Clinton Goulet, 33, of Missoula, accused of an October 2013 kidnapping, entered a change of plea last week in Beaverhead County’s Fifth Judicial Court. Goulet entered a Nolo Contendre – or no contest – plea to a felony kidnapping charge and misdemeanor assault. 

As part of a plea agreement with Beaverhead County Attorney, the defendant’s public defenders Walter M. Hennessey and John Mawabowski advised their client to take the deal which amended an original felony charge of aggravated assault to the misdemeanor.

Goulet has been detained at the Beaverhead County Jail since his transfer to Dillon from Missoula shortly after his arrest in October. 

The incident occurred Oct. 17, starting in Dillon and concluding with the arrest of Goulet in Missoula some 12 hours later.

According to City of Dillon Chief of Police Paul Craft, the 22-year-old victim and Goulet had at one time been dating. They had met for an apparent attempt at a reconciliation at a Dillon motel when, according to a statement by the victim she was “hit and rendered unconscious and strangled. While unconscious she was transported to the Missoula area.”

The initial assault is reported to have happened around 7 a.m. 

“He used a false name to lure her to a motel,” said Beaverhead County Attorney Jed Fitch on Monday. “He was in fact, a previous boyfriend of the girl. When she got there he grabbed her and assaulted her and then took her in his vehicle to a remote area of Missoula County where he is from.”

Fitch said relatives of Goulet turned him in to law enforcement, which led to his arrest.

Judge Loren Tucker accepted the change of plea and ordered a pre-sentence investigation, which will take about six weeks, according to Fitch. Fitch recommended the maximum sentence of 10 at Montana State Prison on the kidnapping charge.

Hurley sentenced

Kevin Hurley was sentenced to two years at the Montana State Prison following his change of plea to guilty on charges felony theft. Hurley will serve his time concurrent with similar charges at the Idaho State Prison, his current residence.


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