On July 30, 2022, around 10:34 am, Missoula County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to a reported assault at a residence on East Mullan Road. Upon arrival, a deputy observed an older adult male, John Doe, sitting in a recliner. Doe was covered in blood. A deputy observed two large lacerations on Doe’s head, on the top of his scalp, and another on the back of his head. There was also a large abrasion on the left side of his back.

Doe stated his son, 35-year-old John Richards, had caused the injuries to his head by using a guitar. The deputy observed broken guitar pieces around the recliner. Doe stated the back abrasion was from Richards kicking him. Doe also pointed to his right bicep where he stated Richards threw a screwdriver hard enough that it stuck in his arm and he had to pull it out.  

Doe stated that an argument began between him and Richards earlier in the day about wanting Richards to move out. The argument transitioned into Richards not having permission to use Doe’s vehicle. It then escalated and Richards went to his room to retrieve a guitar and proceeded to beat Doe with it, while also kicking Doe several times. Doe stated he used his water jug to defend himself.  

Richards returned to his room and came back with a screwdriver he threw at Doe, which stuck in Doe’s arm. Doe then went out to the porch to call 911, but Richards used an ice scraper to knock the phone out of his hands and destroy the phone. A deputy located an ice scraper under a car in the driveway, as well as pieces of the scraper at the front door.  

A deputy spoke with Richards who stated that Doe used a one-gallon-sized insulated water jug to hit Richards at least 15 times in the head and upper body. Richards had a dime-sized red mark on the inside of his right forearm, which he stated was the only injury sustained during the incident.  

Richards stated he picked up a guitar and struck Doe three to four times, causing Doe to bleed.  Richards stated that after the guitar assault, Doe was sitting in his living room chair holding a folding style hunting knife stating, “if you come back over here, I’m going to gut you.” In response, Richards admits to obtaining a large flat head screwdriver and throwing it at Doe, causing the screwdriver to impale Doe’s arm. Richards denied ever kicking Doe. 

Richards is currently being charged with two counts of felony assault with a weapon, partner or family member assault second offense, and criminal destruction of or tampering with a communication device. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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