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Man accused in Lincoln County homicide pleads not guilty

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | June 7, 2022 7:00 AM

A Kalispell man accused of shooting two people, killing one, at a campground near Libby last month appeared in the Montana 19th Judicial District Court Monday afternoon.

Garry Douglas Seaman, 63, pleaded not guilty to three felony counts, including deliberate homicide, attempted deliberate homicide and evidence tampering in front of District Judge Matt Cuffe.

Seaman, who is represented by Stephen Nardi, is being held without bond in the Lincoln County Detention Center. He was arrested near his home in the Flathead Valley following a manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies.

According to court documents, investigators say Seaman shot James Preston Freeman to death and wounded a woman on May 21 at the Alexander Creek Campground near Libby Dam.

Charging documents say Seaman shot the woman more than once with a shotgun. According to Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short, the woman is recovering from injuries she allegedly suffered in the shooting.

According to court documents, the woman identified Seaman as the shooter while deputies provided emergency treatment. She described his vehicle and told them it had “Kalispell plates.”

Prosecutors said in an affidavit that the woman previously had a long-term romantic relationship with Seaman and that they had a child together. She said the one-time couple was “going through a contentious separation.”

Lincoln County Detective David Hall discovered the woman had sought an order of protection against Seaman in Flathead County, but it was denied, according to court documents.

The woman also alleged in a petition for a protection order that Seaman had followed her to homes she was interested in renting and was using electronic devices to track her location because she received notifications on her phone, according to the affidavit filed by Lincoln County Deputy Attorney Jeffrey Zwang.

On the deliberate homicide and attempted deliberate homicide charges, Seaman faces a minimum term of 10 years in the Montana State Prison and a maximum of life.