The man accused of shooting and killing another man outside a duplex near Marion was officially charged in Flathead County District Court, and had his bond set at $500,000.
Mark Bolton Ames, 52, appeared before Justice of the Peace Mark Sullivan on Tuesday, after Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan filed a deliberate homicide charge against Ames earlier that day. The homicide charge takes into account the use of a weapon in the crime, which could add years to Ames’ sentence if he is found guilty.
Prosecutors say Ames shot and killed Harold Gordon, 60, outside Gordon’s residence near Marion on Jan. 12.
Ames appeared calm at his Tuesday hearing, responding quietly and staying still during the hearing. He only spoke when telling Sullivan his mailing address – which he said was a post office box in Washington – and after Sullivan read the official deliberate homicide charge.
“Do you understand the charge?” Sullivan asked.
“Yes, sir,” Ames replied.
According to charging documents and a report from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Gordon and Ames were living in Gordon’s residence, which was a duplex with separate apartments.
At some time between midnight and 1:44 a.m. on Sunday, Ames allegedly fired several rounds from an AK-47 into Gordon’s apartment. Gordon grabbed a shotgun, prosecutors say, and left his apartment to confront Ames.
At that point, Ames allegedly shot and killed Gordon with a .32-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Undersheriff Dave Leib reported that Gordon was hit at close range. Responding emergency crews took Gordon to Kalispell Regional Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The men had a strained history, according to temporary restraining orders on file at Flathead County District Court. Gordon applied for a restraining order against Ames in June 2012, which was granted and supposed to remain in effect until Aug. 14, 2014.
In the restraining order, Gordon asked that Ames not go “near my home or property, or harm or harass anyone living on my property.” The order also asks for the restraining order to apply in part of Washington, and indicates that Ames had allegedly threatened Gordon with a firearm in the past.
At the Jan. 14 hearing, Sullivan kept Ames’ bond at $500,000. Ames is scheduled to appear in district court for his arraignment, where he will enter a plea to the charge against him, on Feb. 6.
If found guilty of deliberate homicide, Ames’ possible sentences range from a minimum of 10 years in prison to a life term. The weapons enhancement could add anywhere from two to 10 years to the sentence.