Charging documents: Man accused in Rimrock, Pictograph shootings involved in earlier gun incident

2014-07-28T09:50:00Z 2014-07-29T06:42:04Z Charging documents: Man accused in Rimrock, Pictograph shootings involved in earlier gun incidentBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Prosecutors say a man involved in two shootings on July 15 — one on a busy street in Billings, the other less than an hour later at a state park outside city limits — was also involved in a third gun incident the same day and endangered a college worker during a high-speed chase over a campus lawn.

On Monday, the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office added two charges — assault with a weapon and a count of criminal endangerment — to the count of attempted deliberate homicide and three counts of criminal endangerment already filed against 52-year-old Kelly Dee Megard.

No one was injured in any of the incidents, but bullets came within inches of hitting a mother and one of her children, police said.

Appearing in District Court by video from the county jail, Megard pleaded not guilty to all five charges.

District Judge Gregory R. Todd maintained Megard’s bond at $500,000. Assistant Public Defender Roberta A. Drew, who appeared with Megard, did not object to the bond amount.

The assault with a weapon charge alleges that Megard pointed a gun at a man driving on South Frontage Road at about 8 a.m. on July 15.

The victim told investigators Megard followed him in a car and continued to point a gun at him.

The man later identified Megard in a photo lineup.

The added criminal endangerment charge says a Rocky Mountain College employee was nearly hit by a vehicle when Megard allegedly chased two children and their mother, the three of whom were in an SUV, through a parking lot and over the college’s lawn.

The updated charging documents filed Monday also say that Megard bought the gun allegedly used in the shootings, a 9mm Hi Point pistol, from a friend of his for $50 around July 3.

Surveillance footage shows Megard buying ammunition at a Billings store at 12:31 p.m. on July 15, according to charging documents.

Officers responded to the first shooting incident at about 12:47 p.m. July 15 on Rimrock Road in Billings and to the second shooting at about 1:39 p.m. at Pictograph Cave State Park, which is about an eight-mile drive southeast of downtown Billings.

In the shooting on Rimrock Road, Megard fired shots at a 32-year-old mother and her two children, ages 6 and 7, as he chased them in a car up and down Rimrock Road, police said.

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John has said Megard was under the influence of methamphetamine and fired three shots into the woman’s SUV — with two of the bullets coming within inches of hitting the mother and one of her children.

Charging documents say two bullet holes could be seen in the driver’s side door of the vehicle and that the driver’s side passenger window was shot out.

At one point in the chase, the woman pulled into a parking lot at Rocky Mountain College, which is bordered on the north by

Rimrock Road. The parking lot had only one exit and, as the woman was backing up to get away, Megard rammed her vehicle, court records say.

A 39-year-old employee at the college later told a police detective that he was walking to his car when the sound of someone driving over grass caught his attention.

The man heard branches being hit and saw two vehicles barreling through some trees. He guessed the vehicles were moving at 35-40 mph over the college’s lawn, court records say.

The man said he jumped out of the way and was within four or five feet of being hit.

The woman in the SUV drove over the grass and onto 17th Street West, records say. She then turned east back onto Rimrock Road, where she reached speeds of 50 mph as she fled from Megard, according to prosecutors.

The woman eventually turned onto Ryniker Drive and Megard drove away.

In the final incident that day, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s deputies responded at 1:39 p.m. to Pictograph Cave State Park, 3401 Coburn Road, where a person had started shooting at people near the park’s museum after driving a car off of Coburn Road and down a ravine, charging documents state.

According to witnesses, Megard was shouting incoherently and firing shots into some bushes.

A sheriff’s deputy saw a man, identified as Megard, in a field near some trees and bushes and heard six or seven shots fired, court records say.

People at the park were told by authorities to go into the park’s museum.

Deputies and Montana Highway Patrol troopers arrested Megard and took a 9mm handgun from him, charging documents say. Law enforcement officers learned that Megard was on parole after being convicted of conspiracy to assault a peace officer in Cascade County.

After being taken into custody, Megard gave a statement to a Billings police detective, saying that he had allegedly used methamphetamine two days before.

He also reportedly told the detective he had bought the 9mm handgun five days before from a person he knew, and that he believed people had been following him and trying to kill him for three days.

In the interview, Megard said he saw a woman driving an SUV and claimed he saw a male passenger with a gun in the vehicle.

He said he fired three shots at the SUV. When shown a picture of the vehicle that was shot on Rimrock Road, Megard confirmed it was the SUV he fired at, court records say.

According to prosecutors, Megard has nine felony convictions in four different states.

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

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