Man Involved in Kalispell Standoff Requests Evaluation

By Beacon Staff

The man accused of barricading himself in a Kalispell hotel with a 17-year-old boy last New Year’s Eve was expected to change his plea on July 28, but instead asked the judge for a psychological evaluation.

Thomas Mulligan, 36, was charged with felony kidnapping and criminal endangerment following his arrest last December.

Court records state that on Dec. 31, 2010 the Kalispell Police Department received a request to help locate Mulligan, who had a felony warrant for violating parole in Oregon.

Officers were told that a missing 17-year-old boy was last seen with Mulligan in a car allegedly stolen from the boy’s grandmother. After locating the vehicle at the Super 8 Motel in south Kalispell, records state officers could not get into Mulligan’s room.

Mulligan allegedly yelled that he had a gun and he would kill himself and the boy rather than go to jail. Officers reported that they could hear the boy asking to be released, and Mulligan refusing each request.

Eventually, officers used a battering ram to break down the door and flash grenades to subdue Mulligan. Records state that Mulligan allegedly said he told officers about a gun to prolong the standoff.

Mulligan signed a plea agreement on July 6 that would have dismissed the criminal endangerment charge in exchange for his guilty plea on the kidnapping charge and 10 years in the Montana State Prison.

The sentence would run concurrent with sentences in Oregon, the agreement states.

Mulligan was scheduled to change his plea on July 28, appearing before Stadler in District Court dressed in a blue jail uniform and expressing displeasure at the possibility of having a cameraman record his hearing.

During the hearing, Stadler asked if Mulligan understood the plea agreement, and Mulligan said he understood everything except the provision that states in part, “I am not suffering from any mental disease or defect, or any emotional disability.”

Mulligan said he feels he is suffering from these afflictions.

“I would maybe have wanted a psych eval,” Mulligan said.

Both the prosecuting and defense attorneys seemed surprised by Mulligan’s request.

Stadler asked Mulligan about his fears of federal prison, which he expressed in previous hearings, and asked if Mulligan understood that the prison term would be in Montana.

The judge determined that Mulligan would need a psychological evaluation before proceedings could continue.

Mulligan remains in custody at the Flathead County jail.

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