Whitefish man reaches plea agreement in road rage case, motorcyclists reported being shot at

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KALISPELL, Montana — A Whitefish man charged with shooting at two motorcyclists during a road rage incident last August has reached a plea agreement that recommends he be sentenced to 10 years under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.

Christopher Robert Showen, 35, entered an Alford plea to assault with a weapon during a Feb. 27 hearing, the Flathead Beacon http://bit.ly/1EcZkx2 ) reports. Under such a plea, the defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to gain a conviction.

A man and his girlfriend reported they were riding their motorcycle on Aug. 2 near Columbia Falls when a reckless driver passed them and made obscene gestures. Court records say the couple followed in an attempt to get a license plate number, but a man leaned out of the car and fired a handgun at them.

The Corrections Department will determine Showen's placement.

He has a lengthy criminal record.

When Showen was 19, he was charged and then acquitted of deliberate homicide in the death of a fellow teen who was shot in the head in April 1998. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for a drive-by shooting in Wasilla, Alaska, in May 2004 and was sentenced to a year in prison.

In December 2005, Showen was found outside the Eureka police station with several weapons while his girlfriend's father went in to the station, armed, to demand his daughter's release from jail. He entered an Alford plea to conspiracy to commit assault and was given a five-year suspended sentence with the Department of Corrections.

Information from: Flathead Beacon, http://www.flatheadbeacon.com

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