Chad C. Jackson

Chad C. Jackson appears in Gallatin County Justice Court on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

A Bozeman man who shot another man in the legs in 2018 won’t withdraw his guilty plea and is asking a Gallatin County district judge for a new sentencing date.

Chad Jackson, 20, is charged with felony assault with a weapon. Jackson pleaded guilty to the charge in February as part of a plea agreement.

Jackson was scheduled to be sentenced in May, but his attorney Brigitte Carneal requested he be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea. Carneal wrote that Hunter Cruz, a second man arrested in connection with the shooting, might have made a “dying declaration” regarding his involvement in the case.

Cruz, who pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by driving Jackson to Rexburg, Idaho, after the shooting, died two days after Jackson pleaded guilty. Cruz’s obstruction charge was dismissed after his death.

On Friday, Carneal requested a sentencing date be scheduled in September. After research and investigation, she wrote, Jackson has decided he doesn’t want to withdraw his guilty plea.

Gallatin County District Judge Holly Brown has not set a sentencing date.

Gallatin County Deputy Attorney Bjorn Boyer, the prosecutor in Jackson’s case, said the state is still bound by a plea agreement made with Jackson. Boyer said he would recommend 20 years to the Montana State Prison, with five years suspended, at Jackson’s sentencing.

Jackson and Cruz were arrested in Idaho a day after the June 2018 shooting.

Court documents say Jackson shot Connor Webster, 19, in the legs after getting kicked out of a friend’s party. Bozeman police searched for Jackson, who was traveling with Cruz.

Rexburg police officers found Jackson and Cruz the next day at a gas station, documents said. They were arrested on warrants connected with the shooting and drug charges.

Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.

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