A 56-year-old Bonners Ferry man who shot and killed the driver of a pickup truck in which he was riding was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison.
The first-degree murder sentence stems from an incident on April 13, 2021, while Victor Claus was a passenger in his Toyota Tundra heading north on U.S. Highway 95 near Athol, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office. Claus shot Melyssa Schloe, 45, of Sandpoint, in the back of the head with his Glock .45 pistol as she was driving 70 mph on the highway, the release said. Claus had a blood alcohol level of 0.32.
After Schloe was shot, the truck crossed the median, nicked a motorcyclist and then struck another vehicle, inflicting serious injuries on the driver of that vehicle.
The matter went to trial April 25 and lasted eight days, the prosecutor’s office said. The defense asserted Schloe shot herself.
Claus will be eligible for parole in 2047.
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