Billings man convicted of burglary for 'checking on' grandsons

2013-01-24T16:15:00Z 2014-08-25T17:25:19Z Billings man convicted of burglary for 'checking on' grandsonsBy GREG TUTTLE gtuttle@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A Billings man who said he dreamed God told him to check on his grandsons because "the wrath was here" was convicted Thursday of felony burglary.

A Yellowstone County District Court jury found Michael Howard Moullet guilty of the charge following a two-day trial before Judge Gregory Todd.

Moullet, 59, is scheduled to be sentenced May 7. He remains in the county jail.

Moullet was charged for an incident at 5 a.m. on Dec. 12, 2011.

Prosecutors said Moullet used a tire iron to break through the front door of a house on Grand Avenue where his former daughter-in-law lived with his two young grandsons.

The woman, Misty Harris, and her husband, Nathan Harris, testified at the trial that they were asleep and awoke to the sound of footsteps in the house.

Nathan Harris said he went upstairs, found the front door had been forced open and then saw Moullet pacing near a van parked in the front yard.

Nathan Harris said he grabbed a tire iron he found near the door and confronted Moullet.

During the confrontation, Moullet told Nathan Harris: "The wrath is here. God spoke to me, and I'm here to get the boys."

Moullet left without further incident as Misty Harris called 911. Officers arrested Moullet a few blocks away.

The couple testified they found the upstairs bedroom doors and lights on after Moullet left. They had recently remodeled the basement and had moved the bedrooms downstairs, they said.

Misty Harris said she was terrified when she realized Moullet had come to take her sons. Moullet had no relationship with the boys, who were ages 2 and 3, she said.

"Not only have you been violated, but someone was there to take your kids," she said.

Moullet testified Thursday morning that he was at the house only to check on the boys. He said he had a dream or premonition that there was an explosion on the East Coast and he believed an atomic bomb had detonated.

Moullet said he spent about 15 minutes knocking and shouting outside the house before breaking down the door. He said he left when he could not find the children.

"I had no intention of the stuff you've accused me of," Moullet told Deputy County Attorney Juli Pierce during cross-examination Thursday morning.   

Deputy Public Defender Clark Matthews told jurors that Moullet admitted to breaking into the house, but he did not intend to take the children as alleged by the prosecution.

Matthews said the jury should find Moullet guilty of a lesser charge of misdemeanor trespassing.

Pierce said after the trial that Moullet has five prior felony convictions and a lengthy misdemeanor criminal record.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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