Lake County prosecutors to amend charges, add deliberate homicide
POLSON — Desmond Alan Mackay was originally charged with attempted deliberate homicide and two counts of assault with a weapon following an attack with a hammer earlier this month. Now, in light of the victim’s death, Lake County prosecutors are seeking to amend the charges to include deliberate homicide.
Polson resident John Barrows passed away last weekend at Kalispell Regional Medical Center after undergoing emergency surgery. He remained unresponsive and died March 15. The 67-year-old man was Mackay’s father-in-law.
Mackay had attempted to attack his brother-in-law, Jesse Waugh, whom Mackay said owed him money. Instead, Mackay accidentally hit Barrows in the head with a framing hammer.
Original court documents state that Mackay and another man were in a garage in Polson when Waugh entered, took a battery and left. Mackay then grabbed a hammer from a rack and walked over to the door Waugh exited through. The affidavit states that Mackay attempted to get Waugh to reenter the garage by taunting him, but Waugh didn’t answer. Mackay jerked the door open and swung the hammer at the person in the doorway. His blow hit Barrows squarely in the head.
Documents state Mackay uttered an apology to Barrows before going after Waugh, who was outside in the yard. The men fought, but Waugh was able to pin Mackay until authorities arrived.
Barrows was unresponsive at the scene and was rushed to St. Joseph Medical Center before being flown to Kalispell.
In an interview last week, deputy county attorney James Lapotka said the charges against Mackay were contingent on Barrows’ condition. Lapotka said Tuesday that his office will amend the charges prior to Mackay’s arraignment on Thursday to single counts of deliberate homicide and assault with a weapon.