This was big news in Billings. He allegedly walked into a popular downtown eatery and stabbed four people. But here's the other big story: why was the guy walking the streets of downtown Billings in the first place?

According to my sources in law enforcement, the suspect in the restaurant stabbings had already had a couple run-ins with the law. So I double checked. Yep. According to the Montana Department of Corrections' offender search website, 21 year old Brandon Bird was already arrested for a robbery charge from May of 2019 and for criminal mischief back in October of 2019.

He appeared before District Judge Leslie Halligan, who was appointed to the bench by former Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT). Bird was given a 60 month suspended sentence for criminal mischief, and a 96 month partially suspended sentence. The sentences were pronounced in October of 2020.

So how is it that roughly 12 months later he had already been hired, and fired, from a job in Billings, Montana and then is able to walk in and stab 4 people? Why wasn't this guy behind bars?  And why is Billings, Montana so often the dumping grounds for the state's offenders? Good questions, right?

I contacted the Montana Department of Corrections, which can't comment on judge's sentencing decisions. A phone call was also placed with Judge Halligan's office.

Here's the deal. You can talk to almost any law enforcement officer in this state, especially in Billings and they will tell you how frustrating it is to put your life on the line day in and day out catching bad guys- just to see them back out on the street.

The City of Billings just passed another public safety mill levy to, in theory, fund more police and more first responders. What's the point of having more police on the streets if judges are just going to keep dumping these offenders right back out onto the streets? (And yes, there is a lot more blame to go around...and it's not all on the judges. More to follow.)

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