Apr. 24—A Kalispell area man arrested with multiple loaded firearms while possibly suffering a mental health crisis in January received a suspended sentence in Flathead County District Court earlier this month.

Steven Piper Ellis, 40, faced a felony count of intimidation following his Jan. 27 arrest. Though he pleaded not guilty at his Feb. 13 arraignment, he struck a deal with prosecutors in April.

In exchange for a guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to amend the felony to a misdemeanor charge of partner or family member assault and recommend a suspended sentence. Ellis changed his plea before Judge Amy Eddy on April 18.

Eddy handed down a suspended one-year sentence to the county jail that same day. She gave Ellis credit for 32 days of time served, ordered him to complete 40 hours of batterer’s intervention and follow treatment recommendations stemming from chemical and mental health evaluations. As part of the sentence, Ellis must pay $325 in court fines and fees.

Eddy also barred Ellis from using the firearms involved in the Jan. 27 disturbance for the duration of his one-year sentence.

Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Ellis with several loaded firearms, including an AR-15 rifle and two handguns, while driving his green 1997 Dodge Ram on U.S. 2 near Appleway Drive in Kalispell, according to court documents. Authorities began searching for Ellis after his wife reported him suffering from a “schizophrenic issue” at their Kalispell area home about 3:53 a.m., court documents said.

She told authorities that Ellis had woken her up, warning that “the cops are coming” before packing up his firearms and what appeared to be ammunition, court documents said. Ellis allegedly told her to join him and threatened to shoot her if she refused.

When he stepped out of the door of the home, she locked it behind him and called 911, according to court documents.

Deputies examining Ellis’ firearms during his arrest found that the AR-15 and a Ruger handgun both had a round chambered, court documents said.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.

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