MISSOULA – A Missoula man accused of fatally shooting another man in the head during an argument was arrested Tuesday in Idaho after a struggle during a traffic stop, Missoula County authorities said.
Robert J. Gardner was arrested in McCall, Idaho, after state police officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle, Missoula County Sheriff Mike McMeekin said.
When officers ran Gardner’s name at the scene, no arrest warrants came up. When they checked his name once more, in the computer at the Adams County jail, the Missoula County murder warrant came up.
“This all must have happened just as the information was being entered into the system,” McMeekin said.
An affidavit filed late Tuesday in District Court by Deputy County Attorney Karen Townsend said officers believe Gardner shot Fredrick Wasson, 18, last Friday at a house and then took him to the spot west of town where he was rolled over an embankment.
Recreationists spotted Wasson, still alive, Sunday afternoon. He died Sunday evening at a Missoula hospital.
According to the affidavit, a witness who said she had been out with Wasson and had been using drugs, said she came into the bedroom right after the shooting. She said Gardner threatened her with the gun if she called for help, so she and a companion left town.
Another witness said that after the shooting he woke up Gardner’s mother, Genne Gardner-Mayer, who was asleep in another room. That witness said the mother helped her son remove Wasson from the bedroom, according to the affidavit, and helped clean the bedroom.
Gardner-Mayer, who was arrested Thursday, told authorities her son shot Wasson, but denied helping remove Wasson from the house, according to court records.
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