Shooting, burglary suspect pleads not guilty

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A Kalispell man who remains behind bars for his alleged involvement in a Nov. 29 shooting near Whitefish pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday in Flathead County District Court.

Jaymes Dean Leduc, 28, pleaded not guilty to felony counts of criminal endangerment and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

He is facing a maximum of 15 years in the Montana State Prison if convicted on both charges.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a woman called 911 to report an attempted burglary at a residence on Mallard Loop in Whitefish. She said the burglary was unsuccessful and she pursued a man later identified as Leduc in a vehicle. She said she saw him fire a round from a gun he carried.

When a deputy from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area, he located Leduc on KM Ranch Road and saw a handgun in his possession.

The suspect dropped the gun when the deputy ordered him to do so, and he was arrested.

During a search of Leduc, the deputy allegedly found a white, crystalline substance that Leduc later admitted was methamphetamine, according to court documents.

When a detective questioned Leduc, he allegedly admitted to firing his gun and that he had injected himself with meth.

Leduc is being held on a $40,000 bond. Leduc’s criminal record in the Flathead Valley dates back to 2010 when he was charged with criminal mischief after Whitefish police said he took up residence in an apartment where he allegedly wasn’t supposed to be living.

The apartment was vandalized and several bags of garbage, rotten food and dirty men’s clothing were found there, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

An officer reported finding Leduc’s Social Security card in the apartment and the manager of the unit identified Leduc as the man who had run from the residence when he arrived. The charges were later dropped against Leduc after a suppression hearing.

In 2014, Leduc spent 48 days in the county jail in relation to an incident where he choked his girlfriend and smashed the windows out of her vehicle. He pleaded guilty to the offense and received a six-month suspended sentence and was ordered to attend 40 hours of anger-management counseling.

A few months later, Leduc was accused by Columbia Falls police of punching a girlfriend in the face and dragging her around by her hair during a Christmas Eve incident in 2014. He was found guilty in an April 2015 trial and served 30 days in jail.

Leduc was also ordered to pay child support to two separate women, including several thousands of dollars in back payments, after a court hearing in December 2015.

Then, in June 2017, Leduc was accused of choking another girlfriend during an incident in Columbia Falls. According to the criminal complaint, when Leduc was arrested he tried to flee from the officer before being put into the deputy’s vehicle.

Leduc pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of partner or family member assault. Leduc received a one-year suspended sentence and was given credit for time served of 81 days.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 406-758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com

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