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Suspect in fatal Columbia Falls stabbing pleads not guilty

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | March 1, 2024 12:00 AM

A 24-year-old accused of stabbing another man to death in Columbia Falls in 2022 pleaded not guilty to a single count of deliberate homicide in Flathead County District Court on Thursday. 

Zain Alexander Rayne Glass entered his plea before Judge Robert Allison while correcting the spelling of his middle name, which was previously listed as Ray in court documents. Allison scheduled an omnibus hearing for May 15 with a pretrial conference to follow on June 12. 

The case could go before a jury in July. 

Authorities arrested Glass after responding to a reported stabbing on Dawn Drive on Sept. 20 and finding him in the yard armed with a knife, court documents said. The victim, Lukas Davis, was declared dead at Logan Health Medical Center. 

An argument between Davis and Glass’ sister preceded the fatal attack, court documents said. Leaving her room in the Columbia Falls home, Davis ran into Glass, who stabbed him, according to court documents. 

Glass allegedly described the killing as an accident to detectives. 

Although in custody for more than a year, Glass’ arraignment was delayed over questions about his fitness. Allison ordered Glass to the Montana State Hospital in November 2022 after an evaluation found him incapable of “understanding the nature and object of the proceedings against him,” court documents said.

Glass was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia, cannabis use disorder and stimulant use disorder, according to court documents. 

Hospital personnel deemed him competent to participate in his defense in August 2023, though a separate evaluation arranged by Glass’ defense attorneys questioned that conclusion. Following a Nov. 22 hearing, which featured all three medical experts, Allison deemed Glass fit to proceed. 

“All indicated that he is coherent, able to hold conversations and discuss matters such as the weather, meals, historic events in a relatively linear fashion,” Allison wrote in his Jan. 31 order. “All agree that he can provide accurate and coherent responses to short questions that require concrete answers. All three doctors recognize, however, that the defendant is not articulate and has educational deficits that hinder his understanding and ability to communicate.”

Glass remains in the county jail with bail set at $550,000.

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