One of three men charged in a November 2018 shooting case involving a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty in Fifth Judicial District Court in Boulder Jan. 22.
Kolby D. Schmidt, 31, of Helena entered his plea before Judge Ray Dayton, who appeared via televideo from Third Judicial District Court in Deer Lodge and is substituting for Judge Luke Berger at the defense’s request.
Schmidt was charged Nov. 15, 2018 with accountability for attempted deliberate homicide in relation to the Nov. 13, 2018 incident in which Deputy Tom Grimsrud was fired at, court records state. He was brought to his arraignment in Boulder from Idaho, where he has been in custody following his conviction there on unrelated charges of illegal possession of a weapon and drug trafficking according to an Idaho Department of Corrections website.
Schmidt’s trial, conviction and incarceration in Idaho contributed to the delay in his arraignment in the shooting case, Jefferson County Attorney Steve Haddon said.
The two other men charged in the case pleaded not guilty June 5, 2019 — Michael J. Holloway, 36, of Kalispell to the charge of attempted deliberate homicide and Shannon J. Marengo, 30, of Whitefish to the charge of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide.
As previously reported, Grimsrud was trying to make a routine traffic stop on northbound Interstate 15 north of Clancy when the car — a bright blue Chrysler 300 —took off. During the ensuing chase, authorities allege Holloway leaned out of a front window and fired at the deputy, hitting the hood and windshield of Grimsrud’s patrol car but not injuring him.
The car caught Grimsrud’s attention earlier that afternoon while he was fueling his patrol car at Town Pump in Boulder. He became suspicious after the car left the facility, traveled west across the overpass, made a u-turn, and pulled back onto the overpass, where it turned onto the I-15 ramp and headed north.
By then, Grimsrud had finished fueling and was ahead of the Chrysler going north. As the Chrysler passed, Grimsrud noticed what he thought was a temporary tag instead of a license plate, but it was too faded for him to be sure. In addition, the car’s turn signal was left on for miles and Grimsrud saw the car cross the fog line several times.
Grimsrud decided to stop the car and activated the lights on his patrol car. At first, the Chrysler slowed and pulled to the side, Grimsrud following. But instead of stopping, the Chrysler sped off toward Montana City. Grimsrud gave chase, and as the cars drove along a straight section just before two sweeping curves south of Montana City Holloway allegedly fired on the patrol car.
The Chrysler at first eluded authorities, but the law caught up with Holloway, Marengo and Schmidt about 48 hours later at a casino near Blackfoot, Idaho.
Judge Dayton scheduled Schmidt’s trial for April 27.
Holloway and Marengo remained in custody Monday in the Jefferson County Detention Center with bond set at $500,000 each, a jail roster states.