More details released in Coram homicide investigation

Posted at 12:38 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 14:38:47-05

KALISPELL – The case of a Coram man charged with deliberate homicide last week is opening doors for other unsolved cases.

Martin Chandler, 19, is accused of shooting and killing 54-year-old William Melton over an argument on the morning of February 14.

Flathead County Sheriff’s Office investigators are now saying they believe the incident was associated with drugs.

After searching the property in Coram where Melton was killed, deputies found two meth labs — one in the residence and another in a vehicle.

Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino said the discovery addressed previously unanswered questions from other cases.

“We ended up getting a lot of, and better information, on other cases that we previously didn’t have leads on,” Heino said. “So, it started off with meth labs and then it started branching out and then we’re into further investigations into some cases we didn’t have additional information on.”

Chandler is currently being held without bail at the Flathead County jail.

He will have the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charges against him in a hearing set for March 14.

(February 14, 2019) A man is facing murder charges after an early morning shooting Thursday in Coram.

Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino said deputies responded to an address in Coram at approximately 1:30 a.m. for a report of shots fired.

Martin Chandler (Courtesy: Flathead County Sheriff’s Office)
Deputies and a Columbia Falls Police officer found William Melton, 54, who died at the scene due to gunshot wounds.

Heino said the suspect was identified as Martin Chandler, 19, who was taken into custody.

He’s being held without bail in the Flathead County Detention Center on a charge of deliberate homicide.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that Chandler’s criminal record with their office included burglary, partner/family member assault, disorderly conduct, theft and criminal mischief.

Detectives are still investigating Melton’s death.