NewsCrime and Courts


Federal judge denies dismissal of charges request against Michael DeFrance

Russell Smith Courthouse
Posted at 3:40 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 17:40:35-05

MISSOULA — A federal judge denied three motions to dismiss charges against the former boyfriend of a missing Missoula woman.

Prosecutors charged 28-year-old Michael DeFrance with crimes relating to owning firearms when he was not legally allowed to based on a previous conviction of Partner/Family Member Assault.

He was convicted in 2013 of assaulting his then-girlfriend, Jermaine Charlo.

She’s been missing for more than three years although these charges do not relate to her disappearance nor mention her in the court documents.

Defense attorney Michael Donahoe filed motions to dismiss on several grounds including a difference in the state definition of Partner/Family Member Assault and the federal standard.

Judge Dana Christensen did not agree with Donohoe’s contention, the 2013 conviction wasn't specific enough to warrant these recent changes.

DeFrance also faced charges for lying about his status when purchasing firearms from a Missoula pawn store.

Christensen wrote in court documents DeFrance was well aware he was not allowed to have guns based on the PFMA conviction.

The case could now go to trial although a date hasn’t been set yet.