Monday, March 15, 2010


The Corrector has been told that the inquest into A.J. Long Soldier’s death while in the custody of the Hill County Jail is set for this week at the Hill County Courthouse. Dick Brown, Fergus County coroner will head up the inquest with assistance from Hill County Attorney, Gina Dahl to make sure there was no wrong doing on the part of the Hill County Detention Center. You may recall that 18 year old Long Soldier, who died on November 23 while in custody of the Hill County Detention Center, was noted as one of the leading players on the Hays-Lodge Pole High School basketball team when they won the Class C tournament. Coroner Dick Brown was also the coroner that led the inquest into the death of Eric Jones who died February 27, 2009 while being held at the Hill County Detention Center for the beating death of Kimberly Calf Boss Ribs.

Those of us at the Corrector have to wonder about the wisdom of Coroner Dick Brown using the assistance of County Attorney Gina Dahl in this inquest when her husband, James Dahl is the head of the detention center.

Great Falls Tribune related article here


  1. just to let you know his name was ERIC JONES not ERIC HOLMES

  2. Thanks fed up.

    I have the name Jones in my notes here too so I must of had one of those oldtimers mental lapses again

    Thanks for the correction

  3. This inquest is to be held tomorrown tuesday the 16th, not the 18th like the Trib article stated a couple weeks back.

  4. HDC said: "Those of us at the Corrector have to wonder about the wisdom of Coroner Dick Brown using the assistance of County Attorney Gina Dahl in this inquest when her husband, James Dahl is the head of the detention center."

    Certainly the appearance of conflict/wrongdoing can be just as bad as actual conflict/wrongdoing but Brown is limited in his options under MCA 46-4-201(3). To wit: "(3) If an inquest is held, the proceedings are public. The coroner shall conduct the inquest with the aid and assistance of the county attorney. The coroner shall, and the county attorney may, examine each witness, after which the witness may be examined by the jurors. The inquest must be held in accordance with this part."

    It will be interesting to see if Gina herself partakes or if she has a Deputy do it.

  5. That did not look like much of a retraction.

    I have never been charged with murder, and I can assure you I did not die in the Hill County Jail.

    I am still quite alive, in spite of the libelous published reports of this blog.

  6. Mr Holmes, take it easy, the editor made a mistake.

    Libel requires forthought and malicious intent, neither of which ocurred here.

    The Corrector noted the error from Fed Up and made the correction right away. What more do you want?

  7. I am truly sorry Mr. Holmes. Just as a coincidence I was earlier in the day talking with someone and trying to place the name of the person that does the wonderful metal sculpture type work around town and we knew that it was a guy by the name of Holmes. We were talking about whether or not the correct first name was Eric and I guess the Holmes name was still on my mind when we got the story with the name Eric Jones, the deceased.

    No harm or libel was intended. Again I apologize.

    By the way, are you the sculpture guy? And if not, could someone tell me the correct name?

  8. Ms. Dahl SHOULD have had a Deputy assist the coroner in the inquest. She was not legally bound to ask someone else to do so, but if it were me I would have immediately recused myself from the job for the very fact my husband is the jail administrator and the purpose of the inquest is to determine if the jail was at fault in this young man's death. Based on the information in the inquest, it does not appear to me there was any wrongdoing on the jail, but quite possibly the hospital.

  9. Dahl's husband is the Hill County jail administrator.

    Honestly, people, an eight-year old could see this is a MAJOR conflict of interest. If this woman isn't voted out of this office come November, there is something seriously wrong with the people of this county. Like someone said during the last discussion of Gina Dahl, she is an arrogant beureaucrat out for her own good--NOT the good of Havre or its citizens.

    Her arrogant refusal to remove herself from this case, is blantantly unfair to the Long Soldier family who need the truth without suspicion AND the jailers who need thier names cleared wihout any hint of misconduct by the investigators.

    And why has neither the Daiy News OR the Tribune not simply asked her how she does not see this as a conflict of interest.

    Please, anyone reading this, vote for anyone but GINA DAHL this June in the primary and if she is stil around, next November. Bring common sense and fairness back to our county.

  10. I really don't think it is anyone's fault for the death of Longsoldier. I mean are they supposed to know what the hell the person took before he ended up in jail. I think everyone acted just fine, when the need for medical assistance arrose he was taken in not just once but twice and unfortunatley ended up dying. That happens no one could know what he had in his system before he was arrested. As for Dick Brown relying on Gina Dahl, I don't think so he performed the inquest becuase the death occured within law enforcement and therefore they were bound to use a non law enforcement coroner. Dick has had a LOT of experience in his profession and I don't think relyed on anyone for assistance and especially not Gina Dahl.
    Mrs. Dahl does not have any say in whom the investigative coroner is, it just cannot be one from law enforcement and they made that clear in the presentation.
    Also remove herself from the case??? Why it had nothing to do with the jail administration for God's sake there are rules and procedures that are set as to when an inmate and how and inmate is taken to Northern Montana Hospital. Those inmates also when they leave the facility need to be guarded 100% of the time that they are there. Her decision on the case isn't biased because her husband is the jail administrator she had to base her decision on the findings of the coroner which was not anyone from hill county and also the evidence from the state medical examiner's office. And the jury made the decision she just enforced their ruling. Give up people and don't be so narrow minded she is doing her job and does it well.

  11. She is one of the most overzellous,over spending,most dishonest county attorneys Havre's ever had.She would ruin a 15 year old honor students life for burning rubber at a stop sign.

  12. From everything I hear about in the cases brought to trial in that office I am beginning to think we should vote for someone that hasn't been there at all.

    That leaves Randolph as the lessor of the three evils and the only fresh face for that office

  13. FRED--Of the many things I have been accused of over the years, narrow-minded is not one of them.
    If I am narrow-minded, you are extremely naive and misguided.

    The appearance of nepotism or an unfair "watchdog" can be as bad as actual misconduct. As I have said, the jailers AND the family deserved to have this appearance removed. And as you pointed out, Gina Dahl's role is limited so it would have been extremely easy to appoint someone else in her place.(Though they may have meant less publicity for her) I know legally she was within her bounds but our county attorney has to have more sense than that.

    And I STRONLY disagree that she is good at her job. If you work in the legal field, then I can assure you, you are in a small minority with that opinion. I urge you to go look at the post made by someone in the blog about the C.A. position/election about a month ago. They pointed out our laws are only as good as the people who adminster them. Gina Dahl is a very bad county attorney. Unfortunately, I can't at this time say which of her opponents is the better choice but I do belive either would do a better job.

    ALso--for what it's worth, I don't think the jailors did anything wrong either. On that we can agree.

    To FED UP--you absolutely nailed it. I would repeat "Gina Dahl is out for Gina Dahl first and foremost."

  14. Here is the post I referenced. It's said much better than I could ever say it. Nicely put , Dave:

    Dave said...
    I agree with people implying that no one should vote Gina Dahl out of office due to any personal reasons about her personal past. And I think we should stop posting such garbage here. This is NOT a rumor mill, or I least I hope it does not become that.

    Havre citizens should, however, vote her out of office based on her record.

    To Concerned Citizen, I agree with everything you wrote--100%. However, there are many, many ways to make criminals pay retribution to said victims AND punish the criminals themselves. Gina Dahl believes it is her duty to slap a felony on each and every case that comes before her, regardless of what the facts, history or circumstances are. (I am told you can practically see the judge roll his eyes at some of her shenanigans).

    As you yourself point out, CC, all cases are not the same and I would add, they should not be treated the same.

    Our legal system, while being the greatest in the world, is not perfect. Therefore it is extremely important we put people in office to carry out this system in a thoughtful manner--someone who adheres to the spirit of the law at all times. Someone who is concerned with our town and each of its citizens and not his or her own career or record.

    It is my belief that Gina Dahl is not tough on crime, but rather a waste of taxpayers' money who puts her career and record ahead of anything and everything else.

  15. I'm going to have to completely agree with Stephen, fed up, Freddy and Dave... Hill County does NOT need three county attorneys. Look at the numbers around the state and start doing the math. Cyndee Peterson had to boost felony numbers to validate another full time Deputy. Now that three have been approved becasue of this insane felony case load, Gina HAS to file as many felony cases as possible to justify that third person in her office. They DO file crap felonies that are tried and LOST in District Court. YES, someone else needs to take over but Lyndsey now knows the "numbers game"... Randolph is really the only choice.

  16. I suspect that a couple of these comments are being made by Lorang and Dahl themselves or their spouses.

    All three candidates have their problems but after reading the posts and comments about what goes on in the county attorney office I am thinking Randolph is the only one of the three with no past baggage and who isn’t set already in his county attorney ways. He is the outside in this group and that is who I have decided to vote for. He could bring a fresh perspective maybe? Couldn’t get worse but it is sad we don't have a better choice than these three