Whitefish Stabbing Victim Dies in Hospital

By Beacon Staff

A Whitefish man who was allegedly stabbed by his wife has died after his family took him off life support, according to authorities.

Chad Newton died at approximately 4:50 p.m. Sunday at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, according to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry. Newton’s family took the 37-year-old man off life support on Saturday night, Curry said. A judge granted Newton’s father the authority to make all medical decisions for his son, who remained hospitalized in intensive care since being stabbed in the heart in late November.

His wife, AnnMari Newton, has pleaded not guilty to felony assault with a weapon and is free after posting a $25,000 bond.

Flathead County Deputy Attorney Travis Ahner, the lead prosecutor in this case, said he will seek to amend AnnMari Newton’s charges to include a homicide charge at some point this week.

“It’ll be a homicide-type charge, although which one I’m not certain at this point,” Ahner said.

AnnMari Newton will have a new arraignment hearing if she faces new charges, Ahner said, but the rest of her court schedule will likely remain the same. Ahner also said he will ask the court to increase her bond given the severity of the new charge.

A neurologist testified at last week’s guardianship hearing that the chance of Chad Newton making a meaningful recovery was zero, while another doctor said Newton’s condition had deteriorated and he was unable to breathe on his own, according to the Associated Press.

A Whitefish neighbor and a friend from Alaska testified during the Dec. 20 bond hearing that Chad Newton was in a downward spiral of alcohol and anger issues, had previously injured his wife and had threatened to kill her and himself. Bonnie Closson testified that police had been called to the Newton house twice recently and on one occasion, the couple’s son ran over to her house and said, “My dad is trying to kill my mother.”

Richard Lauterbach, who introduced the couple in Girdwood, Alaska, in November 2004, said he had recently received calls from both of them seeking guidance on whether to continue their relationship. The big issue was money, especially after Chad Newton lost his job, Lauterbach said.

AnnMari Newton was a stay-at-home mom to their two children.

A citizen of Sweden, she had to turn over her passport as a condition of her release. Her trial is set for April 28.

District Judge Heidi Ulbricht granted Billey Newton the authority to make end-of-life decisions last week.

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