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Suspected outlaw motorcycle club president pleads not guilty

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | March 10, 2023 12:00 AM

The man authorities identified as the leader of the local chapter of an outlaw motorcycle club pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge for allegedly writing bad checks to an area business.

Prosecutors accuse Michael Allan Murphy, 49, of issuing four checks from Oct. 13-19 totaling $31,148.20, according to court documents. All four, made out to a local lumber and building supply firm, were returned for non-sufficient funds, court documents said.

Murphy, prosecutors alleged, never reported the checks as being forged.

Murphy was arraigned before Judge Danni Coffman in Flathead County District Court on March 9, still wearing an orange inmate’s uniform. Coffman set an omnibus hearing in the case for May 15 with a pretrial conference to follow on July 14.

The felony charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in Montana State Prison and a $10,000 fine.

Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputies, working with Kalispell Police and probation and parole officers, arrested Murphy on an active parole violation warrant at a home in the Empire Loop area on Feb. 28, officials said. Murphy unsuccessfully tried to flee, authorities said at the time.

Announcing the arrest on March 3, Sheriff Brian Heino said that Murphy was identified as president of the Flathead chapter of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, a group allegedly involved in a brawl at the Majestic Valley Arena on Feb. 11. Another man inside the house taken into custody about the same time, Kyle Martin Johnson, 28, was described by authorities as the chapter’s vice president.

Officials estimated as many as 50 people took part in the skirmish, which broke out during a Saturday night boxing event at the arena. Just two individuals were taken into custody at the time, one released shortly thereafter.

The other, Brandi Laree Partney of Walla Walla, Washington, faces felony assault with a weapon and tampering with or fabricating evidence charges in district court. Authorities alleged she wielded a bat during the melee, but later discarded it.

Arraigned Feb. 23, she pleaded not guilty.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.

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