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New charge filed against man linked to Whitefish shooting last May

Hagadone News Network | October 5, 2022 1:00 AM

Prosecutors have filed an additional charge against a Rollins man accused of firing a gun in downtown Whitefish in May, allegedly connecting him to two other incidents involving gunfire that same night.

Wilson Dane Huyser, 33, initially was brought up on a felony criminal endangerment charge following the May 14 shooting outside the parking garage attached to Whitefish City Hall that left a bystander injured. In June, prosecutors tacked on an assault with a weapon charge. Earlier this week, he pleaded not guilty to felony criminal mischief with pecuniary loss of more than $1,500.

Authorities tied Huyser to the 11 p.m. shooting outside the parking structure through a combination of witness accounts, surveillance footage and a copy of his driver’s license, according to court documents. Video collected by investigators showed a white Chevrolet Colorado departing the garage and stopping near a local bar. The pickup’s window is shown rolling down and one passerby is seen covering his ears. Another angle shows a puff of dust coming off the wall near where the injured bystander stood, according to court documents.

Deputies with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office arrested Huyser at his home not long after the alleged shooting, recovering a pair of handguns and a spent shell casing in the process, court documents said.

In filing the additional criminal mischief charge on Sept. 14, prosecutors laid out new information about Huyser’s alleged activity that night. On May 15, a teenager told authorities he was in a vehicle with a friend headed down U.S. 93 about 11:27 p.m. the night prior when they came across a white Chevrolet Colorado also going southbound.

For a while, the two vehicles took turns passing each other, according to court documents. The teens also described the pickup as tailgating them at times.

At the intersection with West Reserve Drive, the teens pulled into the left lane in anticipation of a turn in that direction. They told investigators the driver of the Chevrolet pulled into the right lane, as if headed onto the bypass. Looking over at the other motorist, they saw him pull out a handgun and point it at them.

The gun allegedly fired twice. One of the teens told authorities “he did not know how the shots missed him,” according to court documents.

“The description of the vehicle, driver, time of night, location and conduct all match Huyser and his actions in Whitefish approximately 20 minutes prior,” prosecutors wrote in an affidavit.

On May 16, a motorist came forward with a report of damage to his 2022 Chevrolet Corvette, court documents said. He told Whitefish Police officers he left the Corvette parked on East First Street at 10:30 p.m. on the night of Huyser’s alleged shootings. Returning a few hours later, he found the windows shattered and impact marks on the driver’s side door, court documents said.

Investigators determined that bullets left the impact marks. Fragments sent to the state crime lab were linked to the Beretta 9 mm seized from Huyser’s pickup.

Authorities estimated the amount of damage to the Corvette at $8,000.

Huyser remains out of jail after securing a commercial bond for $25,000 in July. The conditions of his release include staying away from establishments that serve alcohol as well as any victims or witnesses, and bar him from possessing firearms. He must wear a GPS device and cannot enter Flathead County except for court appearances or work duties in the Lakeside area.

An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled for March 8, 2023 with a pretrial conference set for April 26.

Criminal mischief and criminal endangerment each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison and a $50,000 fine. Assault with a weapon is punishable by up to 20 years behind bars and a $50,000 fine.