A Hamilton man accused of repeatedly writing messages of "dead" to a Missoula woman remains in Missoula County jail after his bail was set at $25,000, half what prosecutors asked for.
Patrick Paul Powell, 50, made his initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Monday on a felony stalking charge.
According to a court affidavit, the woman had been granted an order of protection against him in February after he was convicted of assaulting her. Prosecutors say between May and July, Powell continually violated the order by contacting the woman, including repeatedly texting her.
On July 13, the woman told police she came home and found a note with the word “dead” written on it tucked between the boards of her gate. The word “dead” was also carved into the wood on the gate. The same day, she said Powell posted a message on his Facebook page that read “Dead by the gate. I love that poem by the Bard of Thomond" – an apparent reference to Irish poet Michael Hogan, who died in 1899.
The woman told authorities Powell’s behavior had been escalating and “becoming increasingly out of touch with reality,” according to the affidavit, adding that she worried about ending up like Charlie Wyrick, a woman allegedly killed by her boyfriend in Missoula in late 2015. His homicide trial is scheduled for late September.
Two days after finding the note at her gate, Powell allegedly passed along a pair of figurines to the woman, one of which had the word “dead” written on the bottom. She told police after that incident she was so afraid of Powell she and her child moved out of their home.
Powell was booked into jail on Friday after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
In court on Monday, deputy county attorney Selene Koepke asked for the $50,000 bail set by the warrant to remain in effect. If he posts his bond, Koepke said it was very important Powell be under pretrial supervision, and be subject to both alcohol and GPS monitoring. She said prosecutors believe Powell is an Irish citizen, and requested he surrender his passport to prevent him from leaving the country.
Powell, appearing by video from the Missoula County jail, objected to the surrender of his passport, saying it was his only form of identification. Public defense attorney Joan Burbridge asked for bail to be set at $1,000, adding that Powell has no prior felony convictions and has lived in the area for years.
Justice of the Peace Marie Andersen set bail at $25,000 and told Powell he was not to contact his alleged victim in any way. If he posts bond, Andersen said he must surrender his passport and will be on pretrial supervision including GPS and any other monitoring they deem appropriate.