Court Filings: Day of Drinking, Argument Preceded Trego Murder

Scott Kirkedahl is accused of shooting and killing his adult son in the early morning hours of April 5

By Andy Viano

A 57-year-old Trego man is being held without bail at the Lincoln County Detention Center after allegedly admitting to shooting and killing his son early Monday morning.

Scott Lee Kirkedahl was arrested without incident outside a residential trailer in Trego shortly after he called 911 to report that he had killed his son, 31-year-old Xennie Kirkedahl, with a .38 caliber gun “during a drunken argument.” Kirkedahl made an initial court appearance Tuesday and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 14. He is charged with one count of deliberate homicide.

According to charging documents, law enforcement arrived on the scene in Trego as the elder Kirkedahl walked out of the trailer with his hands up. When officers walked inside the residence, they saw Xennie on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood and “obviously deceased.”

Scott’s brother, Carl Kirkedahl, was also in the trailer at the time of the shooting and was interviewed by a detective with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Carl said he and his brother had been “sitting at the kitchen table drinking beer all day” and that Scott was arguing with his son. At one point, Carl left to go back to a bedroom, heard a single gunshot and turned around to see Scott’s hand pointed at the ceiling. Carl said he didn’t remember seeing a gun in Scott’s hand at that time. A short while later, once Carl was in the bedroom, he heard another shot. Scott then walked into the bedroom, sat on the edge of the bed, and said he had shot Xennie. Investigators later found a bullet hole in the kitchen ceiling.

Carl Kirkedahl went on to tell investigators that he had been in the Eureka area for about a week before the shooting and that he had initially been staying with his brother before deciding to check into a hotel because Scott and his son were fighting so often. He claimed that at one point Xennie punched his father in the face, giving him a black eye. Carl checked out of his hotel the morning of April 4 and was picked up by Scott around 10 a.m. that day. He said Xennie and Scott were arguing before the shooting but that he did not see any physical confrontation.

Officers from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Eureka Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol all responded to the shooting. Xennie Kirkedahl’s body has been transported to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula for an autopsy.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.