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Man suspected of pointing gun at homeless people earns deferred sentence

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | February 21, 2024 12:00 AM

A man accused of threatening a group of homeless people along Kalispell’s Parkline Trail with a gun last fall earned a deferred sentence in Flathead County District Court earlier this month.

Prosecutors initially brought Charles Michael Wilson, 31, up on a felony assault with a weapon charge following the alleged Oct. 19 confrontation near where the trail runs above Woodland Park. He pleaded not guilty at his Nov. 16 arraignment before Judge Robert Allison. 

But after striking a deal with prosecutors on Feb. 6, Wilson pleaded guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor assault. Allison handed down the one-year deferred sentence that same day. Allison also gave Wilson credit for two days of time served and ordered him to undergo 40 hours of anger management classes. 

Wilson ran afoul of authorities after Kalispell Police officers responded to a report of a man aiming a gun at people on the multi-use trail near the park about 7:03 p.m. A woman in the area told them that she had earlier made a complaint about homeless people camping out along the trail and said that the father of her child had confronted several of them, court documents said. 

When officers caught up with Wilson, he allegedly said he warned several people on the trail against approaching his wife and child. Claiming they approached him aggressively, he said he pulled a pistol from his waistband, court documents said. 

But a review of surveillance footage of the trail taken at 7:02 p.m. showed a man pulling out a pistol while walking along the trail and racking a round into the chamber, according to court documents. The video allegedly showed the man approaching a homeless encampment and pointing a gun in the vicinity of several inhabitants. 

Officers later recovered a 9 mm with a full magazine and one round in the chamber from Wilson, court documents said.

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