Ain’t no sentence high enough 

A Stevensville man unhappy with a Ravalli County judge’s sentencing in a methamphetamine case is attempting to recall the judge.

Skip Webster is trying to recall District Judge Jim Haynes, elected to his first term in November 2002.

Webster’s beef is with a 30-year suspended sentence Haynes handed down earlier this month against Jerry Bradford, who had been convicted of methamphetamine production.

“I seen the sentence and was bewildered,” says Webster. “He got 30 years probation. No one gets 30 years probation. He was manufacturing methamphetamine.”

Webster is more than just an outraged citizen; his ex-wife, Vickie Jo Webster, has also been charged with methamphetamine possession in a related case (she’ll be sentenced in December).

Last January, just a month before Bradford was arrested for manufacturing meth in his Stevensville home, sheriff’s deputies responded to Vickie Jo Webster’s Stevensville home where they found Robert Dean Christianson, dead of an apparent meth overdose. Officials allege that Vickie had gotten the drugs from Bradford and sold them to Christianson.

Webster doesn’t want to talk about his spousal connection in the Bradford-Webster-Christianson affair, however. “I know that world,” he says, without further elaboration. “That’s why I’m a good Christian man now.” He insists that his argument is with Haynes, not his ex-wife.

Webster is readying a recall petition for circulation in the community. He plans to have it ready by Halloween.

Haynes was unavailable for comment, but his judgment in the Bradford case speaks for him. Bradford, 43, married and a father of three, had no criminal history before his meth conviction. He holds a California contractor’s license, is a member of the mason’s union and has been steadily employed since 1982. The sentence isn’t as light as it may appear, either. He’ll be under the supervision of state corrections officials for 30 years. And that comes with two pages of restrictions on his life and movements. He also has been fined $30,000.

None of that sways Webster. “This valley is being flooded with methamphetamine, and people better wake up because the fight is in the front yard.”

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