A district judge told a Lockwood man on Monday that, if he behaves, he won't spend any time in jail for pointing a rifle at several people at a strip club and then firing it over the heads of law enforcement. But he can't own or possess any firearms for the next 30 years.

Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Douglas Gene McKinnon, 43, to 30 years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections, with all 30 suspended, for a felony count of assault with a weapon and two felony counts of criminal endangerment.

Baugh told McKinnon that he cannot have any firearms during that time. 

Baugh said McKinnon suffers from bipolar disorder and that his actions combined with his mental illness made it necessary to bar him from having any guns.

"You've forfeited the right to own or possess guns," he said.

The sentence came as part of a plea agreement with the Yellowstone County Attorney's Office.

McKinnon was arrested in February 2012 at Planet Lockwood after Yellowstone County sheriff's deputies responded to a disturbance.

Court records state that McKinnon got into an altercation with a man inside and pointed a gun at him. A bouncer got him to leave, but several people followed McKinnon outside to confront him. He pointed a rifle at them and drove off.

As a pair of sheriff's deputies interviewed witnesses outside the club, McKinnon twice fired the rifle over their heads. The deputies found him about 100 yards away in his pickup truck and arrested him.

Before Baugh pronounced sentence, McKinnon addressed the courtroom and apologized. He said that he suffers from bipolar disorder, was off his medication during the incident and had been drinking.

He apologized to his family, sheriff's deputies and those he threatened.

"I'm truly ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted with how I treated my fellow man," he said.

Baugh told McKinnon that if he behaves he won't be on probation or under supervision after the first 10 years of his sentence other than regular contact with law enforcement to make sure he's not in possession of any firearms.

Locations

Health and medical reporter for The Billings Gazette

(31) comments

fixitguy
fixitguy

One would think with so called 'mental illness' that he would be a prime candidate for incarceration and treatment. We've all seen what happens when these people are told not to do something, they'll turn around and do it anyway. The intent alone of pointing a loaded firearm at someone warrants jail time. This is why we keep having these shootings across the country, people that should be receiving treatment or jail time aren't getting it and then they snap and innocent lives are lost. Same old song and dance.

csprmtn
csprmtn

By "these" and "they", you seem to include everyone that's ever been in troulble in their lives. How narrow-minded.

bbigskyy
bbigskyy

He shot at a LEO and is receiving zero jail time. Nice

AL KIPF
AL KIPF

That IS curious

Mtnana523
Mtnana523

I hate to tell you fixitguy but "mental illness" can not be fixed with incareration and/or treatment. The man is bipolor he needs to be on meds and taught that when you are bipolor you don't drink alchol at all. He needs a family that that understands his illness and is willing to help him live a productive life.

ruby
ruby

Mtnana523~ yes, treatment does help many mental illnesses. I am not sure what your definition of treatment is but, the spectrum is wide. Bipolar patients also benefit from certain forms of treatment.

lefty the cowboy
lefty the cowboy

Ruby is right... bi-polar people do not usually get any benefit from counseling, but do benefit from 'treatment' because being prescribed, and taking, medication is treatment. All the talking in the world will not change the chemical or structural roots of this disease, but the right pharmaceuticals, once nailed down and applied, are very often effective... assuming the diagnosis is correct in the first place.

fixitguy
fixitguy

csprmtn: there's a BIG difference between being in trouble and firing a gun at someone, especially at law enforcement. You SHOULD NEVER point a gun at anyone unless you intend on using it. People that feel guns are the solution to any problem are the same ones that will use them to commit some of the heinous acts of violence we've seen lately. For you to think that firing a gun at law enforcement is just 'a little bit of trouble' makes you 'a little bit delusional'.

Mt523: I agree that mental illness can be difficult to deal with, but there has to be some accountability here. Being in jail would prevent him from making a mistake in the near future and would allow time for treatment and education of his illness. If he has a drinking problem, it would give him time to address it. It would also give him time to fully understand and be educated about his illness and help him and his family deal with it. I'm not saying an extended sentence, but maybe 3-6 months wouldn't be a bad thing.

pure life
pure life

fixitguy: although your argument sounds good, it is not how things work. Incarceration in the Montana penal system doesn't mean an individual automatically gets treatment and education. The individual must request it on his own willingness and be willing to except such programs. Prisons are not hospitals, they are warehouses. Just believing the penal system is some sort of magic place, that makes everything all better, is nothing short of delusional.

Dave Bovee
Dave Bovee

So, absolutely nothing in the real world to stop him from getting drunk and shooting somebody tomorrow? Don't blame others for your illiteracy or bias, initials.

wxob
wxob

If he was convicted of felony charges one would think that would prevent him from possessing a firearm permanently.

RightDog
RightDog

I don’t know how he would be able to possess much less own a firearm under federal law. The Gun Control Act of 1968 specifies that he would be banned for life from possession of a firearm or even ammunition. This act was later reinforced by the Gun Owner’s Protection act in 1986.

His only chance of restoring his right to own a firearm would to have his record expunged or to receive pardon.

smitti
smitti

No guns for Doug?
That's gonna hurt!

Julie Brantley
Julie Brantley

This judge is putting US ALL in DANGER!!!

Howard Wilkinson
Howard Wilkinson

Bipolar disorder is incurable......... Drugs can modify behavior, but when the drugs are not taken they go off the rails. Recreational drugs and alcohol are not compatible with the drugs used to control this and other psychiatric conditions. Like all other psychiatric conditions the shrinks don't really know what causes it and cannot cure it, they can just give the patient drugs and hope he takes them.
Is this a man who should EVER own a firearm? These are the kinds of folks we need to be paying attention to, and keeping away from weapons. They can easily end up hurting themselves or others......... or worse!!

bowhunters
bowhunters

How many standup patrons and employees hang around that place anyways..

bbigskyy
bbigskyy

He was one standup patrons you fool

Billings-center-of-Montana-Wyoming

So no punishment.
Wow. No wonder billings is a crime center

AL KIPF
AL KIPF

So what's to stop this guy going on a psychopathic kill rampage.....next week??? It certainly won't be prison.

fixitguy
fixitguy

pure life: maybe you can explain to me what the state mental hospital in Warm Springs is for. I believe it is where mentally ill people and criminals are placed. They can be ordered there by a judge and it is a form of incarceration where they cannot come and go as they please. They can also receive treatment for their illness. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this case qualifies for admittance to Warm Springs. For the record, I don't believe the penal system is a 'magic place'. What I do believe is people should be held accountable for their actions whether they are sane or mentally ill and be punished for those actions, not given a slap on the wrist.

mrrocck
mrrocck

Everyone is entitled to their own opions...
With that being said...
I support this man 129%. I have MY REASONS...and will contiune to "be in his corner". MY REASONS are personal and don't need to be shared.
This man is truely one of the best people I know. His FAMILY AND TRUE FRIENDS already know this....and that is all that matters!!!!

lefty the cowboy
lefty the cowboy

I'll bet that is very reassuring to the people he terrorized with guns...

MTGirl01
MTGirl01

You should consider knowing more people if one of the best people you know hangs out at strip clubs pointing guns at people.

Skinwalker
Skinwalker

We must stop arming the stupid and the insane!

Joe G
Joe G

A Felon with a firearm is a serious Federal charge. He can't even posess a bullet! And it's forever, the only way he can ever have a gun ect. is by petitioning the ATF.

Abraham
Abraham

Maybe this is a land mark case and an answer to our firearms problems. If this was done in more cases maybe we could cull some of the crazies.

Delytu
Delytu

This man is exactly the reason we need to keep assault rifles away from people like him and that's exactly WHY Obama wants to take our guns/rifles. But we have to do something or this kind of garbage will continue. Any final decision made on the matter is not going to please everyone. When people start showing responsible gun ownership, then and only then will things chane!

bdog
bdog

The devil made him do it.

lefty the cowboy
lefty the cowboy

Not suggesting this applies in this case, as I have no way to know, but... bi-polar disorder is often exactly mimicked by methamphetamine abuse, and meth use is very often mistaken for bipolar disorder. Sometimes the only way to know is to make sure the subject has no access to meth for a period of time, while carefully observing them for symptoms of bi-polar. This can take a fair amount of time in a controlled environment, as the symptoms of bi-polar disorder swing from manic to depressed, with a considerable time spent in the more or less 'normal' between these poles. By both training and a helping nature, mental health professionals tend to take the word of their 'clients', and lawyers love the opportunity to chalk up bad behavior as mental illness in court. Don't misunderstand, though... actual bi-polar disorder is a very serious thing, sometimes as disabling as schizophrenia.

Dave Bovee
Dave Bovee

Ni, ccrrock, that is not all that matters. An unmedicated, mentally ill drunk pointing and firing a gun at people matters a lot.

Chaak
Chaak

man shoots a gun in a public building and serves no time, risking the life of many, but the marijuana grower works within state law and gets 10 years. another fail.

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