Chad Alexander Basaites

Chad Alexander Basaites appears in court Wednesday at the Law and Justice Center in Bozeman.

A Bozeman man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that accuse him of killing a woman on her bike with his car after having a few drinks at a company Christmas party in December.

Chad Alexander Basaites, 27, is charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol in the death of 25-year-old Alexa Jane Dzintars. He appeared with attorney Todd Whipple in Gallatin County District Court before Judge John Brown.

Basaites’ bail was set at $50,000.

On Dec. 14 around 10:40 p.m., Basaites reported that he hit a cyclist with his car on 19th Avenue near Rawhide Ridge, according to charging documents. Police said the dispatcher that took the call noted that Basaites sounded “highly intoxicated.”

Efforts to resuscitate Dzintars were unsuccessful. An autopsy later found that Dzintars’ died of blunt force trauma caused by being hit by a car.

Police said in charging documents that Basaites hit Dzintars from behind and propelled her from her bike.

Marks in the asphalt from the 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.

Basaites told an officer that he had three or four drinks at a company Christmas party and that he was driving the car that hit Dzintars, court documents say.

Basaites said he was headed north and driving 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit when a person appeared in his lane with no lights, court documents say.

Police said in charging documents that an officer then performed a field sobriety test and found that Basaites was intoxicated. Officers also found a pipe inside Basaites’ car with brownish residue that tested positive for THC, court documents say.

Basaites was arrested and taken to the Gallatin County jail.

If convicted, Basaites could face up to a $50,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.

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

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