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Deliberate homicide suspect pleads not guilty

by DERRICK PERKINS
Editor | April 23, 2021 7:00 AM

The Trego man accused of shooting and killing his adult son earlier this month pleaded not guilty in Lincoln County District Court on April 19.

Scott Kirkedahl, 57, was arraigned on a single felony count of deliberate homicide. He appeared in district court via videoconferencing technology from the Lincoln County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.

Law enforcement personnel with the Eureka Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Border Patrol converged on Kirkedahl’s Trego home in the early morning of April 5. According to a press release, authorities received a 911 call relating the shooting death about 3:55 a.m.

There was one witness to the circumstances of the shooting: Kirkedahl’s brother and the uncle of the victim. He told investigators that Kirkedahl and his son argued frequently and that previous disagreements had grown physical, though he did not see any violence first hand, according to court documents.

He told authorities that he was retiring to the home’s rear bedroom after a day of drinking beer when he heard a gunshot. Another gunshot rang out after he entered the bedroom.

The man said that his brother then came into the backroom, sat on the bed and allegedly admitted to shooting his 31-year-old son.

Authorities found the body of Xennie Kirkedahl on the floor of the kitchen, blood spread on the ground around his head, court documents said. His body was later taken to the Montana State Crime Lab for an autopsy.

Deliberate homicide is punishable by life imprisonment in the Montana State Prison or the death penalty. The state last performed an execution in 2006.

An omnibus hearing has been scheduled for June 21 with a pretrial conference to follow on July 19. A trial date has been scheduled for Aug. 31.