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Montana man charged with attempted deliberate homicide

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Posted at 4:51 PM, Nov 30, 2021

BOZEMAN — A Big Sky man was arrested and charged with attempted deliberate homicide after a fight between him and his roommate on Saturday night in Firelight Meadows.

Joseph A. Fairchild, 20, appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Tuesday where a judge set his bond at $250,000.

According to charging documents, Fairchild called 911 shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and told a dispatcher that he and his roommate had been in a fight the previous night during a party at a friend’s house.

Fairchild reportedly said that they again fought when they returned home that evening and he knocked the victim out with a punch. Fairchild said the victim then grabbed a knife and assaulted him.

During the fight over the knife, Fairchild said he placed the victim in a chokehold causing him to pass out, and then did not check on him again until the morning. Fairchild reportedly told the dispatcher that the wounds were unintentional and were caused when the pair were both intoxicated the previous night.

When Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded, Fairchild reportedly said that the victim attempted to stab him, they got into a fight and the victim “got cut.”

Deputies observed large amounts of pooled blood on the living room couch and floor, bloodstains on the floor, the victim’s bedroom door, and on Fairchild’s bedroom door.

Deputies located the victim lying on the floor near the kitchen and observed he had sustained significant laceration injuries to his left shoulder and neck and there was dried blood all over his person. A detective noted in court documents that there were obvious signs of a struggle in the living room and Fairchild’s bedroom.

Fairchild reportedly told a deputy that he ultimately called 911 after he could not get the victim into a vehicle so he could transport him to the hospital for treatment.

The victim reportedly told the deputy that he could not remember the events from the previous night, nor could he explain how he sustained his injuries. He was flown from the Big Sky Regional Medical Center to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital where he underwent surgery for his injuries.

According to medical staff, he suffered severe penetrating trauma injuries to his left shoulder, neck, and torso. The laceration to the victim’s neck narrowly missed his carotid artery and trachea.

The victim also had multiple cuts on his right hand, consistent with defensive wounds. It was the opinion of medical staff that the individual who caused the lacerations and stab wounds intended to kill the victim.

In the charging documents, deputies note that Fairchild’s statements contained multiple inconsistencies and continually displayed signs of deception during his interview when asked specific questions.

Fairchild's next court appearance has been set for Dec. 17.