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Montana man pleads guilty to waterboarding kids

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POSTED March 12, 2013 9:25 p.m.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man accused of waterboarding four children as a learning experience for them has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in which he will receive probation.

The children were the Jefferson County man's 9- and 12-year-old sons and two neighbor kids, ages 13 and 15, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.

The 42-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to four misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors dropped felony charges that included making threats against public officials and others.

In keeping with the plea agreement, District Judge James B. Wheelis sentenced the man to 180 days in jail for each charge, all suspended. That amounts to two years of probation, minus the 80 days he has already spent in custody, the Independent Record reported.

MO. GOLFER SURVIVES FALL INTO ILL. COURSE SINKHOLE: ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mark Mihal was having a good opening day on the links when he noticed an unusual depression on the 14th fairway at Annbriar Golf Club in southern Illinois. Remarking to his friends how awkward it would be to have to hit out of it, he went over for a closer look.

One step onto the pocked section and the 43-year-old mortgage broker plunged into a sinkhole. He landed 18 feet down with a painful thud, and his friends managed to hoist him to safety with a rope after about 20 minutes. But Friday's experience gave Mihal quite a fright, particularly after the recent death of a Florida man whose body hasn't been found since a sinkhole swallowed him and his bedroom.

"I feel lucky just to come out of it with a shoulder injury, falling that far and not knowing what I was going to hit," Mihal, from the St. Louis suburb of Creve Coeur, told The Associated Press before heading off to learn whether he'll need surgery. "It was absolutely crazy."

 

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