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Stevensville man gets jail time for burning neighbor’s flag

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A Stevensville man charged last June with burning his neighbor’s flag will spend 29 days in jail and serve 100 hours of community service as part of a plea bargain agreement.

Larry Dan Lowry, 49, was arrested June 18 after his neighbor called police to report that Lowry had attempted to light another neighbor’s flag on fire after squirting it with lighter fluid.

Court records said the neighbor stopped Lowry from attempting to relight the flag after the wind blew out the flames from his first attempt.

The neighbor told police that Lowry said he was trying to anger another man by setting the flag on fire and that he appeared to be extremely intoxicated at the time.

Lowry was originally charged with a felony charge of desecrating the flag and misdemeanor counts of negligent arson and criminal mischief.

At this week’s hearing in Ravalli County Justice Court, the felony count and the misdemeanor charge of negligent arson were dropped in return for Lowry’s guilty plea to misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Justice Jim Bailey sentenced the man to jail time and community service.

At Lowry’s original sentencing, Bailey voiced hesitation for releasing Lowry on his own recognizance.

“I worship that flag,” Bailey said at that original hearing. “I put my life on it.”

Reach reporter Perry Backus at 363-3300 or pbackus@ravallirepublic.com.

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