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Libby man pleads not guilty in gun incident

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | May 16, 2023 7:00 AM

A disturbance involving a gun at a residence on Farm to Market Road at the end of March led to a felony charge against a local man.

Kody Andrew Roberts, 31, of Libby pleaded not guilty to one count of felony criminal endangerment on April 10 in Lincoln County District Court.

According to a report filed by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Anthony Jenson, a woman called 911 on the evening of March 24 to report a disturbance at a trailer. Two other deputies and a Montana Highway Patrol trooper responded to the scene.

A woman was making accusations against a man, saying he had inappropriately touched her granddaughter. The woman said the man had been arrested the previous night and she didn’t want him at the residence so she got Roberts to come to the home. Jenson wrote in his report that the man had been arrested on a warrant.

Deputy John Hyslop told Jenson he saw a brief video of the alleged disturbance on March 24. Hyslop said he saw Roberts pull out a firearm and fire a round into the ground.

Jenson reported that he then spoke with Roberts, who said the woman came to his trailer to get him to come to her place and, “protect her kids from” the man. While Roberts and the woman spoke, the man reportedly came to Roberts’ trailer and wanted to speak to the woman. Roberts told the man to leave and that he had no business being there. The man then left, followed by the woman. Roberts allegedly said he followed them and watched them argue. The man then allegedly yelled at Roberts before approaching him. Roberts allegedly said he removed his pistol from his holster and pointed it at the ground. Roberts said the man took another step or two toward him and yelled that he was a veteran and guns don’t scare him. According to Jenson’s report, Roberts then fired a round into the ground to, “show them he was serious.” Roberts said he holstered his pistol and walked back a few steps.

Jenson wrote in his report that, “It appeared that other than taking a couple steps toward Roberts, the man never made any threatening statements or aggressive actions toward Roberts.”

Roberts surrendered the firearm, a Ruger Security-9, to Jenson. The deputy reported one live round was chambered and the magazine held 11 rounds. The officer also reported that a second magazine with 12 rounds was in the holster.

Jenson wrote in his report that, “Roberts’ actions created an unnecessary and substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death as the projectile could have ricocheted had it struck a rock or other unknown object in the ground.

Roberts’ next court appearance is scheduled for July 10.

A conviction for criminal endangerment could result in a 10-year term in the Montana State Prison.