LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) _ A 7-foot, 275-pound sheriff's deputy was awarded $5,000 in slander damages because the motorist who accused him of brutality still had his teeth.

Judge Byron Robb ruled Monday that Patrick Edgmon, at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, would have suffered far more than a split lip and chipped tooth if Deputy Hank Tashjian had belted him as Edgmon claimed.

Edgmon ''in all probability would have had no teeth at all,'' the judge said.

Edgmon, 36, claimed the deputy had punched him during an arrest for drunken driving in July.