Mont. lawmaker pleads no contest in boat crash

An outgoing Montana state senator has pleaded no contest to felony criminal endangerment for crashing his boat after a night of drinking, injuring all five on board.

The Missoulian reports Sen. Greg Barkus, of Kalispell, entered the plea Thursday as part of an agreement that would dismiss two other felony charges and recommend a three-year deferred sentence.

Barkus crashed into the shore of Flathead Lake on Aug. 27, 2009, injuring U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, two of his staffers, Barkus and his wife. Prosecutors say Barkus' blood-alcohol level was 0.16 percent after the crash.

District Judge John McKeon says he'll decide whether to accept the plea agreement after a pre-sentence investigation is complete. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20.

The Republican was prevented form running for re-election this year due to term limits.

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com