Posted: Mar 13, 2013 3:21 PM by Erin Schattauer
BOZEMAN - A trial date is set for a woman accused of shooting her former tenant at his Springhill Road residence.
Diana Arnold, 59, was in court today as the judge addressed multiple issues, including the trial date and her attorney's concerns over her health.
Judge John Brown set her trial to start on July 17. It's scheduled for eight days.
Also on Wednesday morning, defense attorney Chuck Watson, raised concerns about Arnold's health, saying, since being in jail, she's lost a quarter of her body weight and is disabled from a head injury. He says she's malnourished and weighs 89 pounds or less. Watson said he has requested a psychological evaluation but it hasn't been done yet.
"I am seriously concerned about her mortality," Watson said.
Arnold is charged with attempted deliberate homicide and aggravated burglary.
According to court documents, Arnold's former tenant, Henry McDunn, told deputies he returned to his 3103 Springhill Road home in May 2012 and was ambushed by Arnold who shot him in the back of the head as he walked in the door. He fell to the ground and turned towards her, grabbing a broom to defend himself, but she shot him again, this time in the chest, court documents state. McDunn said he was able to get the gun away from her and pin her to the ground until deputies arrived.
Henry's wife, Kathleen, told deputies they and Arnold had been involved in a civil lawsuit, and a judge ruled in the McDunns favor, saying Arnold had to pay them about $1,200.
Investigators say they found parts of a disguise that Arnold wore, including a hat with fake hair sewn into it and larger shoes worn over her own shoes. She also reportedly had earplugs pinned to her jacket and was wearing gloves. Her car was found at the intersection of Stonegate Drive and Springhill Road, about 1/3 mile from the scene, with the entire passenger compartment covered in plastic as if to keep the interior clean, court papers state.
Deputies found that a screen had been cut and a ladder had been placed against the McDunns home to gain entry. They found a .22 caliber pistol with four expended rounds. They also found that the home was filled with wadded up newspapers, wooden matches and open match books. An oily substance was reportedly poured over the couch and two one-gallon bottles of gasoline were in the room with McDunn and Arnold, court documents state.
She's being held in the Gallatin County Detention Center on $1 million bail.