Domestic dispute ends in felony gun charge

·2 min read

May 14—A Flathead Valley man who fired a gun dozens of times during a dispute with his wife was arrested on a felony gun charge this week.

Lawrence Duane Craft, 70, is facing a felony charge of assault with a weapon after he allegedly terrorized the victim by firing the gun between 40 and 50 times outside the bedroom of the home where they live.

Craft was booked into the Flathead County Detention Center Sunday, May 9, and released on his own recognizance Thursday.

According to the charging document, a woman called 911 to report Craft was acting hysterical, appeared drunk and repeatedly was firing a handgun outside their home, located off Montana 206, just feet from their bedroom. She also said Craft was cursing, agitated and wasn't making sense.

The victim said Craft had threatened to shoot her in the past and she was terrified of him. She said she barricaded herself in the bathroom and he continued to fire the gun outside of their home.

When two deputies from the Flathead County Sheriff's Office arrived, they moved along the side of the home and saw Craft while the victim was on the phone with a 911 operator. She was then able to escape from the front while officers watched Craft at the back of the home.

Officers reported Craft appeared to be drunk and he was crying and yelling. They also saw him fire the gun and then reload it.

One of the deputies then yelled to Craft to surrender and the accused man did so while he told the officer to shoot him.

Craft was then taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for a mental-health assessment.

Craft faces a maximum term in the Montana State Prison of 20 years.

His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, June 10.

Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 758-4441 or

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