Butte roofing contractor faces potential prison time for probation violations


A former roofer with a history of hustling people into jobs he didn’t do or complete faces up to 15 years in prison for violating numerous terms of previous suspended sentences.

Prosecutors wanted those sentences overturned, and on Thursday, 50-year-old William Lee Dunmire admitted the violations before District Judge Kurt Krueger. The judge will impose new penalties after receiving an updated attendance check.

In September 2020, Krueger sentenced Dunmire to 10 years in Montana State Penitentiary for theft by deception and five years for forgery to run consecutively, but suspended every 15 years. He also asked Dunmire to pay thousands of dollars in compensation.

Lewis and Clark County judges in September 2020 also sentenced Dunmire to eight years in prison for fraudulent practices, 10 years for theft by deception and five years for forgery, but they also suspended them all.

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Prosecutors and probation officers in Butte-Silver Bow say Dunmire failed to pay damages, still owed $66,775 and violated several additional probation terms.

They said he has not received chemical addiction and mental health assessments, canceled support meetings, has done “zero hours of community service” and claims he is unable to work due to medical conditions that he has never documented or verified.

When parole officers tried to arrest him with warrants in January 2022, he saw them through a house window but refused to open the door. Prosecutors charged him with bail crimes in July 2022 and filed petitions to have his sentence overturned.

“The defendant did nothing during supervision,” said a parole report, and he “shows blatant disregard for supervision and the victims of his crimes.”

When Krueger on Thursday asked Dunmire to detail his violations, a standard part of confessions and guilty pleas, Dunmire offered an apology.

“In January 2021, I contracted COVID,” he said. “I was basically unable to do anything, including getting up sometimes, and I basically gave up.”

Krueger said that was not an admission, and on a second try, Dunmire said he had not paid compensation, evaded supervision and named other violations.

Dunmire’s victims in Butte included a bar and restaurant that needed roof repairs and a resident who needed a new roof. Prosecutors said they paid Dunmire tens of thousands of dollars for work he did not do and that he misled them about the amount and type of materials purchased.

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Mike Smith is a reporter at the Montana Standard specializing in government and politics.