Man accused of hitting three firefighters, cop while driving drunk enters guilty plea

Scott Allen Jenks changed his plea in District Court on Sept. 2 to guilty for two felony counts of negligent vehicular assault.

Jenks is accused of hitting and injuring three city firefighters and a police officer while driving under the influence of alcohol in October 2019.

The firefighters and officers were responding to a separate incident when they were, according to police reports, struck by a vehicle at 4:45 a.m. Oct. 19 in the Highwoods Mobile Home Park at 8th Avenue North and 38th Street North. They were responding to reports of injuries at a domestic disturbance, according to Great Falls Fire Department, Great Falls Police Department and court documents.

UPDATE: Three police, three firefighters injured in overnight incidents

Jenks signed a plea agreement in June in which the state agreed to drop another felony and misdemeanor charge of negligent vehicular assault, as well as misdemeanor counts of driving while suspended and driving without insurance.

In the agreement, the state recommends a 10 year sentence to the Montana State Prison with five years suspended, for the first felony count, and 10 years with 10 years suspended in the second to run consecutive to the first sentence.

Jenks is in the Chouteau County jail and has been held there since October.

During a Sept. 2 hearing, Dean Koffler, Jenks’ attorney, asked Judge Greg Pinski to lower the bond from $100,000.

Koffler said Jenks has completed the screening for adult treatment court and since he had served in the military, could request admittance to the veterans treatment court.

Koffler said that Jenks didn’t have a criminal history but had an issue with alcohol and that he could get into treatment until sentencing.

County Attorney Josh Racki said that the state would recommend maintaining bail since Jenks severely injured three firefighters and a police officer. He said that the state would not support sending Jenks to treatment court.

Pinski said that Jenks committed a serious offense and posed a danger to the public and denied the request to reduce bail.

In April, the three firefighters and police officer filed a civil suit against Kobe Seafood and Steakhouse, The Flamingo and the individual managers of the alcohol licenses for those establishments for negligence.

Firefighters, police officer struck by drunk driver in October file civil lawsuit

In the lawsuit, they allege that the defendant in the case, Jenks, has consumed alcoholic beverages during his work shift at Kobe Seafood and Steakhouse, where he worked until about 11 p.m. on Oct. 18. He then left and met a friend at The Flamingo where he was served though visibly intoxicated, according to the lawsuit.