One of three men charged in a November 2018 shooting case involving a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy has accepted a plea agreement and another is set to as the alleged gunman awaits trial.
Appearing in Fifth Judicial District Court in Boulder Feb. 26, Kolby D. Schmidt, 31, of Helena pleaded guilty to one felony count of criminal endangerment, little more than a month after pleading not guilty to the felony charge of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide -- a charge the state will no longer pursue as a result of the plea agreement.
In accepting the plea agreement, Schmidt admitted to driving a car on Nov. 13, 2018, “while co-defendant Michael J. Holloway shot a firearm at [Deputy Tom Grimsrud], with the purpose to evade arrest, creating a substantial risk of death or bodily injury to the officer.”
The plea agreement also stipulates that Schmidt agree to testify “in any proceeding involving” Holloway and co-defendant Shannon Marengo of Whitefish, and that Schmidt’s sentencing hearing -- he faces a five-year prison term -- will be stayed until after Holloway and Marengo’s cases are resolved.
Schmidt meanwhile has been incarcerated following a conviction in Idaho on unrelated charges of illegal possession of a weapon and drug trafficking according to an Idaho Department of Corrections website.
Marengo is scheduled for a change of plea in Fifth Judicial District Court in Boulder on March 4. The terms of his plea agreement were unavailable at press time. He pleaded not guilty June 5, 2019 to the charge of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide.
On the same day as Marengo’s plea of not guilty, Holloway, 36, of Kalispell pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempted deliberate homicide. His trial was scheduled for May 19.
As previously reported, Grimsrud was trying to make a routine traffic stop on northbound Interstate 15 north of Clancy when a car containing Holloway, Marengo and Schmidt 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 trio at first eluded authorities, but the law caught up with them about 48 hours later at a casino near Blackfoot, Idaho.