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Jury finds man not guilty on three charges in 2013 Absarokee death

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Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 16:17:40-05

A jury in Dawson County has cleared a former Absarokee man of three counts related to the 2013 death of another man during a festival.

Michael Holtz was found not guilty Tuesday afternoon of three charges: negligent homicide, tampering with evidence and failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving another person, according to the Glendive Ranger-Review .

Holtz was on trial for the death of Forest Dana, whose body was found in an alley near his parents' home following the Absarokee Days celebration in July 2013.

Prosecutors had argued that Holtz was driving drunk and run over Dana, who had passed out in the alley after a night of partying.

The verdict, which came at 4 p.m., appears to put an end to the lengthy case. Prosecutors had initially dropped charges against Holtz because they were struggling to prove his twin brother wasn't the driver. Charges were then refiled, and defense attorneys requested a move to Glendive because of the high visibility of the case in Stillwater County.

The Stillwater County News broke the story on its Facebook page.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates, and check the Ranger-Review for a complete story on the verdict.