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Helena Man Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal DUI

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A 49-year-old Helena man charged with hitting and killing a bicyclist while driving drunk has pleaded not guilty to felony vehicular homicide while under the influence.

Joel Brett Powers appeared in District Court Thursday and also denied charges of aggravated DUI and failure to remain at the scene of the Sept. 25 crash that killed 29-year-old Benjamin Homan.

Investigators say Homan’s bicycle and Power’s vehicle were traveling northbound on Montana Avenue at 10:30 p.m. on a rainy night. Homan, who was wearing a helmet, died of a severe head injury.

Court records say Powers’ blood-alcohol level was 0.250, just over three times the limit of 0.08 at which a person is considered legally intoxicated.

Powers’ trial is set for Jan. 13.

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