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Showen arrested in Kalispell on probation violation charge

| September 6, 2006 12:00 AM

A man who received a five-year suspended sentence for his role in a Eureka shootout last December was arrested again last week and charged with a probation violation.

Christopher Showen was arrested in Kalispell for alleged violations involving his residence, employment, required reporting to a probation officer, illegal drug use, frequenting a bar and alcohol use, failing to undergo a chemical-dependency evaluation and a mental-health evaluation, and associating with a person he was ordered to not have contact with.

That person is Jennifer Nelson, with whom Showen was arrested in Eureka after Nelson's father was critically injured in a shootout with a police officer.

Nelson had been arrested following a disturbance at the Eureka Veterans of Foreign Wars club. Her father, Mark Nelson — armed with a shotgun — later showed up at the police station where she was being held and was shot three times in an exchange of gunfire with a Eureka police officer.

Showen was found outside in a car with three guns and ammunition. He was arrested and eventually entered an Alford plea — not admitting guilt but accepting a conviction — to charges of conspiracy to commit assault with a weapon.

Jennifer Nelson pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on a peace officer and one count of making threats in official matters and also received a probationary sentence. Her father remains in custody on charges of attempted deliberate homicide and two counts each of assault on a peace officer and assault with a weapon.

The Eureka incident was not Showen's first brush with violent crime. A Flathead County jury found Showen innocent in 1999 when he was 19 and accused of killing Carl C.J. Storkson near Olney. Showen later moved to Alaska, where he was charged in a shooting at a bonfire in 2004. Charges there were reduced to a misdemeanor.