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Repo Man Shooting

Judge orders trial in Priest River Repoman shooting

A Priest River man accused of shooting a repossession agent who was reclaiming a pickup truck nearly three years ago is being ordered to stand trial on a charge of attempted first-degree murder.

It's the second time a judge has bound Bruce Allen Spaude over to 1st District Court to face the charge. The first case was dismissed after plea negotiations collapsed.

Spaude, 40, is scheduled to be arraigned in district court on March 29. Spaude's defense counsel, Brent Featherston, has moved to disqualify District Judge Steve Verby.

Featherston did not elaborate on the basis for the motion, although Verby rejected a sentencing recommendation of local jail time when plea negotiations played out in the summer of 2003. At the time, Verby said the proposed punishment would depreciate the seriousness of the offense and fail to serve as a deterrent for others.

Spaude has previously argued he opened fire because he believed his Dodge pickup was being stolen. The incident happened at Spaude's home north of Priest River on Sept. 27, 2002.

Spaude told Bonner County Sheriff's investigators he was aiming for the truck's tires, although one of the bullets from his .22-caliber rifle pierced a rear window and struck Victor Grant in the head.

Grant, who survived the shooting, testified on Wednesday that he and his wife had attempted to repossess the truck for non-payment on a loan on at least two occasions before the shooting.

"He said he would kill Victor if he ever tried to take his truck," said Cheryl Grant, referring to the previous encounters with Spaude.

Victor Grant also testified that Spaude followed him on a motorcycle to a nearby home and took the truck back.

Spaude did not take the stand on Wednesday.

Judge Debra Heise found there was sufficient cause to require Spaude to stand trial.

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