A Flathead Valley man pleaded guilty Thursday to killing his father and brother before taking his estranged wife and several others hostage in January 2010.
Justin Ray Calbick appeared in District Court before Judge Katherine Curtis to change his plea. Curtis convicted him of two counts of mitigated deliberate homicide and one count of aggravated robbery.
In exchange for his guilty pleas, the Flathead County Attorney’s Office agreed to recommend sentencing him to 50 years for each murder charge to run consecutively and another 40 years for the robbery, to run concurrently.
In total, if Curtis agrees the prosecution’s recommendation, Calbick faces 100 years in the Montana State Prison.
During his testimony on Thursday, Calbick pleaded guilty to purposefully or knowingly and while under “extreme mental or emotion stress” shooting his father, Donald Calbick, 60, and his brother, Stacey Calbick, 38.
He also admitted to going to his now-ex wife’s house with the gun, tying up multiple people and holding them there until police arrived.
Answering questions from his attorney, Vicki Frazier, Calbick said he had been living at his father’s house at the time. He had lost his wife, had restrictions on seeing his children, was restricted from entering his home and had lost his job, Calbick said.
On Jan. 13, 2010, Calbick was arrested and charged with raping and assaulting his wife. Bond was originally set at $50,000 by the District Court, but the Justice Court released him on his own recognizance.
Calbick testified that his father and brother had been drinking heavily on Jan. 27, 2010, and the situation turned violent.
In the heat of the moment and under mental distress, “you shot your father, Don Calbick,” Frazier said.
“Yes,” Calbick replied.
“And you shot Stacey,” Frazier said.
On Jan. 28, 2010, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Department received a 1 a.m. call reporting that Calbick was at his wife’s home armed with a rifle and had bound several people with duct tape.
Court records say Calbick bound the hands and feet of three adults for three hours. There were also three children at the residence. The hostages were able to convince Calbick to turn over the rifle and let his wife’s friend go on the premise that she would not contact authorities.
The woman’s husband called 9-1-1 when she got home and responding officers found Calbick sitting on the couch unarmed and arrested him without incident.
At his hearing, Calbick told the gallery, which included his ex-wife and several other victims, that the only way he could show how sorry he is would be to plead guilty.
“All I can say is that I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” Calbick said. “The only way I can prove to you is willingly taking these charges and spending the rest of my life in prison.”
Calbick’s sentencing is scheduled for March 10. If the judge refuses the plea agreement, Calbick faces a total of 140 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.
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