Hardin man accused of murder after frying pan assault - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Hardin man accused of murder after frying pan assault

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HARDIN -- A Hardin woman was pronounced dead Saturday after she and two other women were assaulted with a frying pan earlier this month, according to charging documents filed against the man accused of the murder.

James Brien is set to appear in Big Horn County District Court on Tuesday on one count of deliberate homicide and two counts of felony assault. He was initially charged with three counts of assault.

According to court documents, one of the victims contacted the Big Horn County Sheriff’s office on Feb. 8 to report that she and two other women had been assaulted with a frying pan.

Deputies met with the victim and a witness at a home in Hardin. The witness reported that Brien had come over to the residence and bragged that he had “laid three girls out with a frying pan.”

After speaking with Brien, the witness said she went to the trailer where the assault occurred and found the three women all unconscious. One of the victims awoke and told the witness that Brien had assaulted them.

After taking the initial report from one victim and the witness, the deputies responded to the trailer and found one victim with a bloody face.

Another victim was sitting upright on the couch when deputies entered, but then lay back on the couch and appeared unconscious moments later, according to court documents.

That woman, described only as a Hardin resident in her 40s, was transported to the hospital in serious condition and placed on life support. She was pronounced dead on Saturday from injuries related to the frying pan assault, according to court documents.

Brien admitted being at the trailer and possessing the frying pan, but denied hitting anyone with it.

The name of the woman killed was not immediately released.

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