POLSON — A Ronan man who was charged with killing his son-in-law in October 2019 has been found unfit to stand trial.
The deliberate homicide charge against James Stephen Deaton, 78, was dismissed after two mental health evaluations found he was unable to aid in his defense, KERR-AM reports.
Deaton is being held at the Montana’s criminal mental health facility in Galen. District Judge Kim Christopher set an involuntary commitment hearing for March 31.
The shooting victim, Jim E. Lewis, 65, went to Deaton’s house to make sure he was taking his blood pressure medication, court records said.
Deaton told investigators that Lewis grabbed the barrel of the rifle that Deaton had just loaded and it went off, striking the victim in the head. Deaton acknowledged his finger was on the trigger when the rifle fired, court records said.