Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Suspect in Columbia Falls fatal stabbing deemed unfit to proceed

Daily Inter Lake | November 6, 2022 12:00 AM

A Flathead County District Court judge ordered accused murderer Zain Alexander Ray Glass committed to the state mental hospital for an evaluation and observation during a status hearing last week.

The Nov. 3 decision to send the 22-year-old Columbia Falls man to Warm Springs came after Glass’ defense attorneys, Ben Kolter and Dianne Rice, turned over results of an independent evaluation conducted in late September. Prosecutors subsequently joined Glass’ attorneys in asking Judge Robert Allison to declare him unfit to proceed and order him committed.

Police in Columbia Falls arrested Glass after finding him standing in his Dawn Drive yard with a knife while responding Sept. 20 to a report of a stabbing in that community. The man he allegedly stabbed, Lukas Davis, later succumbed to his injuries.

According to court documents, Davis and Aleena Glass, Zain Glass’ sister, got into an argument in the moments leading up to the attack. Aleena Glass called authorities after locking her brother out of the home, court documents said.

Zain Glass later allegedly told detectives the stabbing “was an accident.”

He was expected to be arraigned in district court Sept. 29 on a deliberate homicide charge, but officials pushed the hearing off while they determined whether or not he was fit to proceed. Though still held in county jail with bail set at $550,000, Glass was absent at last week’s hearing.

“Glass is resistant. He does not wish to join us,” Allison told the courtroom. “I’d certainly hate to have him bodily dragged into court.”

Despite Glass’ refusal to attend, Allison opted to move forward with the proceedings at the behest of the 22-year-old’s attorneys, who said they were prepared to discuss the case without him present.

Deputy County Attorney Alison Howard told Allison she had spoken with officials at the state hospital who identified Glass as a top priority. If the judge ordered him to Warm Springs, they would quickly accept him, she said.

Allison issued the order, which requires the state hospital to hold onto Glass until he regains fitness or determines that he will remain unfit to proceed, following the hearing.

A follow up hearing to review Glass’ status is scheduled for Jan. 26.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or

Recent Headlines