Soldier Pleads Not Guilty in Ferndale Shooting Death

By Beacon Staff

POLSON (AP) – A 19-year-old Bigfork man has pleaded not guilty to murder in the New Year’s Eve shooting death of a Ferndale man.

Ronald Petersen entered the plea Wednesday in District Court in Polson.

Court records say Clyde Wilson’s girlfriend reported that someone broke into their home early on December 31st and fired three shots at Wilson, killing him.

Prosecutors say Petersen’s brother, Ryan Gates, provided investigators the information needed to file charges against Petersen.

Petersen was on leave from the Army at the time of the shooting. He was arrested several weeks later at Fort Bragg Army Base in North Carolina.

Prosecutors have not released a motive in the case.