32 year-old Emily Levens appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Monday, charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence in the hit and run death of 30 year-old Benno Bigback, Jr.

At her Missoula Justice Court appearance on Monday, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Amber Henning explained to Judge Marie Anderson why she was requesting $50,000 bail.

"The defendant is charged with vehicular homicide while driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident," Henning said. "She has three failure to appears on traffic matters out of Great Falls including last August, giving her a pattern of missing her court appearances. The nature of the offense, and the fact that she's facing a mandatory minimum sentence in this case, we fell that $50,000 is appropriate. It's also consistent with bail you set on another vehicular homicide that was charged two weeks ago."

In the courtroom were members of the Bigback family who tearfully listened to the charges.

Court records indicate that the incident occurred last Friday night in the 400 block of Mount Avenue when Levens was driving her Nissan X-Terra and struck Bigback while he was crossing the street. A female witness saw Levens standing over the body holding a phone, and told the suspect she was calling 9-1-1, at which point Levens returned to her vehicle and drove away.

Responding police followed a trail of leaking fluid on the ground to a residence on Thames Street, where Levens's vehicle was found, and she was taken into custody after failing a sobriety test.

Her blood was obtained through a search warrant, and she was booked into the Missoula County Jail early Saturday morning on just over $100,000 bond.


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