Chad Earl Williams

Chad Earl Williams

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A convicted shooter who held police at bay for hours in a stand-off in Bozeman last month was ordered held in jail Tuesday on $100,000 bail.

Chad Earl Williams, 38, was arrested June 28 after the standoff in Bozeman. In the incident, Williams, who law enforcement said was armed with a handgun, was found in a trailer home and remained there for nearly seven hours while he negotiated with law enforcement before eventually surrendering.

In 1996, Williams was sentenced to 60 years in the Montana State Prison with 25 years suspended after he was convicted of shooting Louis Donald Craighead twice in the head and at least once in the stomach while trying to rob him. Craighead survived the attack.

A warrant had been issued for his arrest in mid-June by Missoula County District Court Judge Robert “Dusty” Deschamps after a third petition to revoke his probation had been filed, alleging that he had failed to report to his probation officer. Previous attempts to revoke his release this spring included multiple allegations of positive tests for methamphetamine, as well as possession of knives. 

In court Tuesday, Deschamps said he had received letters from Williams’ wife and grandmother requesting that he be released on his own recognizance until a hearing could be held on the petitions to revoke his probation.

Deputy county attorney Brian Lowney reminded the judge of the nature in which Williams had been arrested, and asked for at least $100,000 bail, the amount listed on the arrest warrant.

Williams denied having been armed during the standoff, but his probation officer said that during the incident, Williams had been asking Bozeman authorities not to charge him with the gun possession if he surrendered.

“He’s gone off the deep end here big time,” Deschamps said before setting bail at $100,000. “I think this is something I have to take pretty damn seriously.”

Williams’ next court appearance will be July 26.

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for the Missoulian.