Man sentenced for crashing into house, killing resident


KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) – A man has been sentenced to four years in prison for crashing his van into the wall of a house south of Kalispell, killing a man who was sleeping inside.

Thomas Owen Lefevre, 22, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, including 16 years suspended during a hearing Thursday before district court judge Heidi Ulbricht in Kalispell.

She accepted the state’s sentencing recommendation, citing Lefèvre’s lack of criminal history, his age and because he took responsibility for his actions.

Lefevre was initially charged with homicide and driving while under the influence of the June 2020 crash that killed Ronald “Dale” Meier.

Lefevre apologized to the victim’s family in court.

Meier’s wife did not attend the hearing because she did not want to relive the tragedy, Flathead County Assistant District Attorney Amy Kenison said.

“She wanted you to know that she was married to her high school sweetheart and that she can’t spend another day with him,” Kenison said. “But she also understands on the other hand, because she’s a mother, he’s a young boy with a future and she doesn’t want him to stay in jail forever.”

The Meier family have settled a wrongful death lawsuit they brought against Lefevre, Kenison said.

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