A man with a long criminal history in Flathead County has died.
Christopher Showen, 39, of Whitefish died April 28 in Helena, according to a death notice in the Daily Inter Lake Sunday.
Showen was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2015 after he pleaded guilty to shooting at two motorcyclists on Montana 35 in August 2014; but his criminal history goes back to his teens.
In 1998, when he was 19, Showen was charged with the homicide of Carl John “C.J. Storkson. Prosecutors maintained that Showen shot Storkson and buried his body.
But Showen was acquitted of charges stemming from the case, as witnesses in the trial kept changing their stories and Showen’s defense tried to pin the crime on another teen.
Showen kept getting in trouble, however.
In 2004, Showen was convicted of misdemeanor reckless endangerment, resulting in a year in jail, after he fired a handgun toward people at a bonfire in Alaska. He served one year in jail for that incident.
In 2006, Showen received a five-year suspended sentence after entering an Alford plea to conspiracy to commit assault with a weapon. That incident involved a shootout at the police station in Eureka, when a man shot at police there and Showen was found in the getaway car with several weapons.
After the August 2014 incident, Showen entered an Alford plea in March 2015 to one felony count of assault with a weapon. A second count of assault with a weapon was dismissed in the plea agreement.
An Alford plea means the defendant doesn’t admit guilt, but would likely be found guilty at trial.
Showen, who was free on bail while waiting to be sentenced, fled to California where he was arrested the next month.
Flathead District Judge Heidi Ulbricht sentenced Showen to 15 years in Montana State Prison with five years suspended for the shooting incident, and a consecutive 10-year term with five years suspended for bail jumping.
The death notice doesn’t say how Showen died.