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Man pleads not guilty in fatal Hamilton hit-and-run case

Posted: 2:24 PM, Jul 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-26 16:24:27-04

HAMILTON – The man who is accused of hitting and killing a 9-year-old boy in Hamilton has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office reported that Joseph McNamara struck the child with his van while traveling at almost twice the legal speed limit on Golf Course Road in Hamilton on July 7.

McNamara is facing one count of negligent homicide and one count of failure to remain at the scene of an accident in connection with the incident.

His next court date has not yet been set.

According to several witnesses, the defendant was traveling eastbound on Golf Course Road at rates almost double the posted speed limit when he hit the 9-year-old boy who was crossing the street or walking a scooter.

Court documents state McNamara got out of his car and approached the boy. The boy’s father then ran from their house, handed the defendant his phone and asked him to call 911.

The defendant kept the phone and drove east. He later visited his girlfriend, who told authorities he had consumed at least one beer. McNamara told her he hit something and asked for a ride. She refused, and McNamara then left on foot.

He was found at a residence after a nearly six-hour manhunt and was arrested without incident.

-Reported by Connor McCauley/MTN News