LISTEN – Blow Dart Suspects Appear in Justice Court
Two of the men accused of shooting blow darts at over 20 pets in Lolo last fall appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Thursday.
Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul said Hayden Barker and Matthew Breeden appeared in person represented by their attorneys to hear charges of felony animal cruelty and tampering with evidence, both felonies. Paul explained why the two should undergo mental evaluation.
"We requested a mental evaluation just to be safe, " Paul said. "There are studies that those who abuse animals can later down the road escalate into violence against humans. The next step is a preliminary hearing date, February 18th, which is basically a deadline for me to file documents in district court. followed by an arraignment."
According to court documents, the three were captured in September on surveillance video at a Missoula sporting goods store purchasing a blow gun and several darts, just days before the first attacks on cats and dogs in Lolo were reported, After a three month investigation led by Missoula County Sheriff’s Detective David Walrod, all three said they participated in the attacks on pets, and eventually led Walrod to a spot in the woods where they had destroyed and buried evidence of the attacks.
Barker and Breeden were released into the custody of their attorneys. The third suspect, Tucker Parsons Miller will be seen for the same charges on February 10th.