- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - A Lakeside man has denied shooting and killing his neighbor, with whom he apparently had an ongoing feud. The men had restraining orders against each other.

Mark Bolton Ames, 52, pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide during a hearing Thursday in District Court in Kalispell. He is charged with killing 60-year-old Harold Gordon on Jan. 12.

Ames remains jailed with bail set at $500,000.

Gordon was living on one side of the duplex while Ames, his wife and children were living in the other side.

Charging documents allege Ames fired several rounds from an AK-47 into Gordon’s apartment before 2 a.m. on Jan. 12. Gordon reportedly grabbed a shotgun and came outside to confront Ames when he was shot twice by a .32-caliber semi-automatic weapon.

Mark Ames’ attorneys challenged a requirement that he have no contact with his wife, Julia, and their children, who were at the residence at the time of the shooting.

“The right to associate with family is … the most fundamental right we have,” defense attorney Greg Rapkoch said.

Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan argued that Ames‘ wife and children are potential witnesses and noted that the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

District Judge Heidi Ulbricht said she would schedule another hearing on the issue if Ames‘ attorneys request it.

The Daily Inter Lake reports that a July lawsuit naming Julia Ames and Gordon as defendants offered insight into the connection among the three. Attorney Peter Carroll was seeking more than $1,600 in unpaid legal costs. The claim stated Gordon told Carroll he would guarantee payment of the fees incurred by Julia Ames in a divorce case. It also indicated that Gordon and Julia Ames jointly held property.

A state property-tax records website indicates that sometime before November 2012, Julia Ames was added as a second legal owner of Gordon’s duplex.

Carroll’s lawsuit was dismissed on Jan. 3.

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