Chad Alexander Basaites

Chad Alexander Basaites pleads guilty to the charges against him at a hearing in June in this file photo.

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A Bozeman man was sentenced this week to eight years in the Montana State Prison for killing a cyclist with his car after driving home drunk from a company Christmas party in December.

Chad Alexander Basaites, 27, was sentenced to 25 years in the state prison with 17 of those years suspended. He appeared Wednesday in Gallatin County District Court before Judge John Brown.

Basaites was driving home drunk when he hit and killed 25-year-old Alexa Jane Dzintars, who was riding her bike home from work on 19th Avenue near Rawhide Ridge.

Judge Brown ordered that Basaites complete alcohol treatment and perform 250 hours of community service.

Prosecutor Erin Murphy said the victim’s family asked that Basaites serve 10 hours of community service for every year of Dzintars’ life. The family also asked that those hours be served talking to groups or schools about the dangers of drinking and driving.

In December, Basaites reported to Bozeman police that he hit Dzintars while she was biking on 19th Avenue.

Officers were unable to resuscitate Dzintars. An autopsy later showed that she died of blunt force trauma caused by being hit by a car, court documents say.

Basaites told officers that he had three or four drinks at a company party and that he was driving the car that hit Dzintars. He was headed north on 19th Avenue, and he told police he was going between 5 mph and 10 mph over the speed limit when a person appeared in his lane, according to charging documents.

Police said Basaites failed a sobriety test. Officers also found a pipe inside Basaites’ car with brown residue that tested positive for THC, according to charging documents.

Marks in the asphalt from where the bike was hit showed Dzintars was riding on the shoulder of the road, and that Basaites’ car was “well over the fog line when it collided” with the bike, court documents say.

Murphy said Dzintars family and best friend took the witness stand in court on Wednesday and asked the judge to impose a 20-year sentence to the state prison, with 10 suspended.

“There needs to be consequences for the defendant’s actions for taking Alexa’s life,” Murphy said.

She said Basaites did not make any statements to the family during the hearing.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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