Bond reduction for Parizeau denied

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Joseph Parizeau

A request for a bond reduction on a Lake County resident was rejected last week in 20th Judicial District Court following a release glitch several weeks prior.

Joseph Parizeau, 22, of Big Arm, is facing charges related to the June death of Ronan resident Cassandra Harris.

Court documents allege that Parizeau pushed Harris out of a moving vehicle in the McDonald Lake area after Harris met up with Parizeau, Donnovan Sherwood, 18, of Arlee, and Julia Vaile, 18, of Missoula.

A charge against a fourth person, Gale Hendrickx III, 19, of Pablo, was dismissed out of Lake County Justice Court.

Parizeau, Vaile and Hendrickx were arrested on a charge of homicide, while Sherwood was arrested on a charge of obstructing justice.

Representing Parizeau last week in court was attorney Brian Smith.

During a status hearing Wednesday, Aug. 29 in front of 20th District Court Judge James A. Manley, Lake County Attorney Steven Eschenbacher explained that due to previous cases from 2015 and 2017 that were acquitted or dismissed without predjudice due to unwilling witnesses or other circumstances, prosecution felt Parizeau is a danger to the public and requested bail be raised to $150,000.

On July 11, Parizeau was arraigned on one count of negligent homicide and three counts of tampering with a witness.

At that court appearance, bond was set at $50,000.

An error at the Lake County Jail led to Parizeau being released on a $25,000 bond in early August.

Once the error was discovered, Parizeau was taken back into custody and found to be in possession of an illegal substance, violating conditions of his release, court records state.

According to court records, Harris was in communication with Parizeau and met up with him at Taco Bell in Polson in June.

Sherwood was picked up by Hendrickx, as well as Parizeau and Harris.

Together, the group went to Missoula to pick up Vaile, then came back to Lake County to attend a party at McDonald Lake.

Parizeau and Harris allegedly left the truck, and Parizeau ran back to the vehicle, yelling to them to leave Harris.

Court documents state that as Harris tried to catch up to the truck, travelling between 10 to 15 mph, Parizeau allegedly pushed her, causing her to fall onto the road and hit her head.

When Harris was found on Saturday, June 23, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office sent out a press release stating a young woman was found in the McDonald Lake area “unconscious and badly injured.”

Hendrickx, Sherwood and Vaile were released on their own recognizance.

Sherwood is scheduled back in court for an omnibus hearing on Sept. 13 with a jury trial Nov. 26. Parizeau is due back in court for an omnibus hearing Nov. 14 and jury trial Dec. 17.

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