Bail is up at $25 million for accused campground killer


Bail will remain at $25million for a Kalispell lawyer accused of shooting two people – one of his longtime former domestic partner – at a campsite near Libby Dam in May.

Garry Douglas Seaman, 63, requested a bail hearing to reduce the $25 million bond set by Lincoln County District Judge Matt Cuffe. He is charged with manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in the May 23 shooting of James Preston Freeman and Seaman’s former partner at Alexander Creek Campground. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in June.

Under state law, if Seaman sought to use real estate to cover bail, he would have to put up approximately $50 million in property to release.

Missoula County District Judge Jason Marks, who took over Cuffe’s case, made his decision quickly Friday morning at the Lincoln County Courthouse after the surviving alleged victim testified about his fear of Seaman and of his belief that he would seek to “finish the job”. if released.

Marks said he thought $25 million was appropriate.

“If the defendant is able to post bail, the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office must be notified five days prior to release,” Marks said.

The former couple were “going through a contentious separation, and recent instances of violence and requests for civil assistance have been documented by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office,” Assistant County Attorney Jeffrey Zwang wrote in an affidavit accusing shooting.

The moving and charged testimony from THE VICTIM left the courtroom in silence after County Prosecutor Marcia Boris questioned the woman about her past relationship with Seaman and her feelings since the alleged shooting.

“I’m terrified,” the woman said. “I never thought it would go this far. If he ever comes out, I have no doubt he will finish the job.

She said her doctors told her she shouldn’t have survived the attack.

“I was shot in my left hand, twice in my stomach, in my buttocks, my right breast. I have to wear a colostomy bag because of what the shrapnel did to my intestines,” she said.

The woman, who was able to enter the courtroom with the help of her family, explained that she went to work at Seaman’s law firm on May 19, 1994. She said they started a romantic relationship 15 years ago and that a child was born from the union.

“We broke up in 2020, but I got back with him briefly before things went downhill again,” she said. “It (the relationship) ended in April 2022. One night he said, ‘Get the (expletive) out of my house and you’re fired. “”

She also talked about the day of filming and her relationship with Freeman.

“James and I were old friends from 30 years ago and we had been texting and talking,” she said.

After their relationship moved on, they decided to go camping in Lincoln County.

“We didn’t tell anyone where we were going, but I told my son we were going camping. It was the first weekend that Garry took him (their son),” she said.

The woman said the reservation they had made for a campsite was canceled due to a “glitch in the system”.

“We stopped at a restaurant in Libby and a waitress directed us to another place we could go,” she said.

The woman said she and Freeman spent time shooting at a local shooting range before returning to the campsite.

“James and I were sitting at a picnic table when Garry arrived. I believe my guns were in the glove compartment of my vehicle,” she recalled.

“He said, ‘It’s you, it’s you,’ then he started shooting. He shot James first, then me,” she said.

The woman alleged, in a motion for a protective order filed in Flathead County, that Seaman followed her to homes she wanted to rent and used electronic devices to track her location because she received notifications on his phone, according to the filed affidavit. by Zwang.

According to court documents, the woman identified Seaman as the shooter while deputies provided emergency care. She gave them a description of her vehicle and told them it had “Kalispell plates”.

He was arrested near his home in Flathead Valley following a manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies.

Along with her testimony about the alleged shooting, the woman explained why she didn’t want bail reduced.

“He lived a life of luxury,” she said. “He has a house in Flathead Lake with his brother, two other houses in Kalispell, several mobile home lots in Great Falls and Kalispell.

“He also has hundreds of guns, he has guns all over the house, at work, in his vehicle, he has a plane, he has several sports cars and other vehicles, he collects gold bullion. gold and I’m like all those things – I’m a possession to him and that’s why he shot me,” she said.

NICK BROOKE, an attorney with Smith and Stephens Law Firm in Missoula, who is part of the team representing Seaman, said if his client could post bail, he would likely live in Missoula and wear a GPS tracking device.

Brooke also argued that a receivership has been named for Seaman and his property. This usually means that his ability to control, manage or operate the property has been displaced.

Seaman’s alleged victim felt that was not enough to stop him from regaining his freedom and harming him.

“Garry will save and protect his assets from loss in potential litigation,” she said. “I wouldn’t feel safer if he was in Missoula and I don’t trust an anklet. I believe he could cut it and find me and my family before anyone could get there.

She also said he had prepared “bug out” bags in case he ever had to flee the area. These bags, typically carried by military personnel, may contain an emergency kit, cash, and other items used to survive for a short time while trying to evade potential captors.

She also said Seaman tried to use their son as an alibi on the day of the alleged shooting.

“He tried to drop my son off at my parents, but they weren’t home. He took it home and told my son he was going to Missoula to his oldest son because he was having trouble at school.

“When (my son) called (his son) in Missoula, the older brother said he hadn’t spoken to dad in weeks,” she said.

The Seaman’s next hearing is scheduled for September 9.

Both intentional homicide and attempted intentional homicide are punishable by death, life imprisonment, or at least 10 years in Montana State Prison.

Comments are closed.