NewsCrime and Courts


Trial set for Missoula man accused of shooting father in 2021

Colton Merritt
Posted at 2:33 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 10:46:54-04

MISSOULA - The trial for a Missoula man accused of shooting his father to death in 2021 has been set for February 2023.

Colton Merritt pleaded not guilty in January 2021 to deliberate homicide accused of shooting his father, 57-year-old Dan Merritt, at their Missoula home on Jan. 4, 2021.

In charging documents, prosecutors allege Merritt shot his father 19 times with a .22 bolt action rifle claiming it was self-defense.

Merritt told the dispatcher his father was outside his bedroom door making threats that he was going to shoot the defendant.

When the defendant's father entered the bedroom, Merritt shot him before "his father made physical contact", according to charging documents.

On Tuesday, Missoula District Court Judge Robert Deschamps set Merritt's trial for Feb. 14, 2023.

Merritt is being held on $2 million bond in the Missoula County Detention Center.