Guilty Plea in Kalispell Drive-by Shooting Case

Joseph Trapper Bukowski pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and criminal endangerment; plea deal recommends 15-year prison term

By Andy Viano

One of two suspects accused of participating in a drive-by shooting last December in Kalispell pleaded guilty to two charges in Flathead County District Court on Thursday.

Joseph Trapper Bukowski entered guilty pleas to one count of assault with a weapon and one count of criminal endangerment, both felonies. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped two additional counts of criminal endangerment and one additional assault with a weapon charge.

Bukowski was one of two men arrested after a string of drive-by shootings just after midnight on Dec. 21. The other man, Ansen Walter Ingraham, has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony counts and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on July 15. Bukowski was 19 at the time of his arrest. Ingraham was 18.

According to court documents, the Kalispell Police Department received reports of shots fired from a black SUV as it drove down the street near Seventh Avenue West in Kalispell on Dec. 21 at 12:08 a.m. Bullets were found inside multiple homes and more than 20 shells were recovered from the street. Additional shootings were later reported on Sunnyside Drive and Ashley Creek Lane.

Prosecutors are recommending Bukowski be sentenced to 15 years in prison with an additional 10 years suspended. A sentencing hearing in front of Judge Dan Wilson has been scheduled for Aug. 13.

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