Man Allegedly Tried to Shoot His Neighbor in the Head Over Missing Bear Skins
On Friday, Ravalli County dispatch received a report that two neighbors had been involved in an altercation in Florence, Montana. A male reported that 59-year-old Grant Deakin had “shot up” the truck he was driving.
Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputies responded and located a white F150 pickup truck with multiple bullet holes, a shattered rear window, and both of the driver’s side tires were flat.
The male reported that he has helped Deakin in the past but they had a falling out when Deakin accused him of stealing a gun. Deakin flagged the male down and the male stopped.
Deakin said that he had the male on video at his house stealing bear skins. The male denied having any involvement with missing bear skins and told Deakin he had not even been on Deakin’s property, but Deakin did not believe him.
The male told Deakin he was leaving and did not want to talk anymore. At that point, Deakin pulled a handgun from the seat next to him and began firing it at the truck the male was driving. The male put the truck into gear and accelerated away. As he drove off, he noticed the tires were going flat and the engine was smoking.
At one point, Deakin parked his truck in the roadway and blocked the male’s path. The male yelled at Deakin to get out of the way, but Deakin refused. According to court documents, Deakin then pointed the gun directly at the male’s head and pulled the trigger. The gun did not go off, and Deakin tried to rack the slide. Deakin put that gun down, grabbed another, and began shooting the truck the male was driving again.
Deakin emptied the magazine of that pistol and grabbed another gun. The male described the third gun as a revolver with a coke can taped to the barrel like a suppressor. Deakin resumed shooting at the truck and then pointed the gun at the male’s head again.
The male ducked down behind the dash and was able to maneuver the truck to the side of the hill and got around Deakin. The male drove the truck to Redrock road where the truck died. Then he got out and ran the rest of the way to a friend’s house.
Later that night, deputies responded to Deakin’s home and took him into custody. On Tuesday, Deakin appeared in Missoula Justice Court on an attempted deliberate homicide charge. Deputy County Attorney Eric Owens provided the following statement.
“This is among the highest order of offenses that we can charge someone with,” Owens said. “Fortunately, it did not ultimately result in someone’s death, although it appears that was the clear intention here. This was apparently because he thought this person had stolen bear skins from him. This conduct is reprehensible. It poses and extreme danger to not only this person, but anybody else who the defendant might perceive has a slight against him. The state would ask the court to set bond in the amount of $250,000.”
Judge Landee Holloway presided over this case and she gave Deakin an opportunity to speak on his own behalf.
“I always try to show and teach people that it is about respect and consideration, you want it, you give it,” Deakin said. “Same with lying, cheating, and stealing. I can’t stand any of that stuff. I say things how it is just because I want that in return. I didn’t get sober to continue being a screw up by any means and I am not a screw up now. It was just the wrong place, wrong time. It is falling on here say and I kind of feel abandoned, I guess. It is one person’s word that has me in this situation here and I don’t have a say just yet.”
Judge Holloway said these are tough cases because there are always two sides to every story.
“I have some concerns with regards to access to weapons and also concerns with the allegations,” Holloway said. “There are allegations that there was an attempted homicide here. I think that is alarming on how ever level you want to look at it. I understand you would have a different side to that story. However, at this point, I am going to set bail in the amount of $20,000.”
Should Deakin post bond, he would only be released to pretrial supervision. He would also need to provide proof of all weapons being removed from his home prior to his release.
Deakin is currently being charged with attempted deliberate homicide and criminal mischief.