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Bail set at $2M for man accused in fatal Missoula shooting

Colton Merritt
Colton Merritt Mug Shot
Missoula Bailey Street Fatal Shooting
Posted at 11:57 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 13:57:24-05

UPDATE

MISSOULA - A Missoula man is accused of his shooting his father 19 times with a 22 bolt action rifle claiming it was self-defense.

Colton Merritt, 22, is charged with one count of deliberate homicide in the shooting death of his father, 57-year-old, Daniel Merritt Sunday at their home in the 4700 block of Bailey Street home in Missoula.

In charging documents, prosecutors say Missoula County 911 received a call from the defendant Monday after 4 p.m. stating there was a dead body at his home and that he shot his father in self-defense.

Colton 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, Colton Merritt shot him before "his father made physical contact."

Colton Merritt told the dispatcher that he "made sure he was dead" and that he continued to shoot his father because he was twitching and wanted to put him "out of his misery".

Missoula Bailey Street Fatal Shooting
Law enforcement responded to reports of a shooting in the 4700 block of Bailey Street in Missoula on Jan. 4, 2020.

It was revealed in court on Tuesday that the shooting happened on Sunday and that Colton Merritt didn’t call 911 until 21 hours after the shooting.

Missoula County prosecutor Jordan Kilby said during a search warrant executed at the home Monday evening, law enforcement found hash oil products in the defendant's room.

Kilby also said during Tuesday's initial court appearance, the victim filed an eviction notice with Missoula Justice Court in late December to remove Colton Merritt from the home.

Merritt's bail was set at $2 million and is due back in court on Jan. 25 at 9 a.m.

Members of the Merritt family told law enforcement that the defendant told many family members that he pointed the gun at his father about a month prior to the fatal shooting.

Click here to read the court documents in the case.


(first report: 2:22 p.m. - Jan. 5, 2020)

MISSOULA - A Missoula man is being charged with deliberate homicide in the shooting death of his father.

Colton Merritt, 22, is accused of shooting his father, 57-year-old Daniel Merritt, 19 times with a 22 bolt-action rifle at their Bailey Street home.

In charging documents, Missoula County 911 received a call from the defendant on Monday afternoon stating there was a dead body at his home and that he shot his father in self-defense.

Colton 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, Colton Merritt shot him before "his father made physical contact."

Colton Merritt told the dispatcher that he "made sure he was dead" and that he continued to shoot his father because he was twitching and wanted to put him "out of his misery".

Colton Merritt told law enforcement that he reloaded his gun in case someone else came in. The defendant stated he picked up roughly 19 shell casings after the shooting.

It was revealed in court on Tuesday that the shooting happened on Sunday and that Colton Merritt didn’t call 911 until 21 hours after the shooting.

Missoula County prosecutor Jordan Kilby said during a search warrant executed at the home Monday evening, law enforcement found hash oil products in the defendant's room.

Kilby also said during Tuesday's initial court appearance, the victim filed an eviction notice with Missoula Justice Court in late December to remove Colton Merritt from the home.

During his initial court appearance in Missoula Justice Court on Tuesday afternoon Justice of the Peace Landee Holloway set bail for Colton Merritt at $2 million.

Arraignment for Colton Merritt has been set for Jan. 25 at 9 a.m.

Members of the Merritt family told law enforcement that the defendant told many family members that he pointed the gun at his father about a month prior to the fatal shooting.