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Man who fires rifle into river at park pleads not guilty to criminal endangerment

A Polson man entered a plea of not guilty at District Court in Polson today to felony criminal endangerment. 

Marty Jay Billmayer, 45, is accused of firing multiple rounds from a .22 caliber rifle into the Flathead River at about 6 o’clock the evening of Aug. 23 while at Riverside Park in Polson. According to court records, another man was able to take the rifle away from Billmayer who tried to wrestle with the man but was too intoxicated and quit. When questioned by Polson Police officer Keith Deetz, Billmayer stated he was shooting into the water to celebrate the life of his brother who had lost his battle with cancer. He stated he only shot three times. A witness at the park told Officer Deetz that Billmayer was drinking alcohol at a picnic table when he got up, went to his vehicle, retrieved the rifle and began shooting randomly into the water. The witness claimed about 12 people were at the park when the shooting began. Officer Deetz found seven spent .22 caliber shell casings at the picnic table.

District Judge Kim Christopher set the case for trial Jan. 22. Billmayer is at liberty on his own recognizance.

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