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Ennis Man Accused In Fatal Shooting Appears In Court

Rick Park made his first appearance in Gallatin County Justice Court on Tuesday. He is charged with deliberate homicide and assault with a weapon in the death of 36-year-old Nicole Watson from Helena.

According to court documents, Watson and her husband arrived at Park's residence for a child custody exchange involving a 5-year-old. Watson's husband told police in a witness interview that after a minute of knocking on the door, Park came out with a pistol and pointed it directly at her.

Watson's husband stated Park then shot Watson in the face. She fell to the ground and was attempting to get back up when Park allegedly shot her again in the head.

Court documents say Park then pointed the pistol at Watson’s husband and said he had better call 911. The husband fled the scene on foot, called 911, and ran to the residence of a nearby off-duty Madison County sheriff’s deputy to summon help.

When police arrived on the scene, they escorted park inside to retrieve his gun, a Springfield XD .45 caliber pistol. Two fired .45 caliber casings were found near Watson's body.

Park was taken into custody by Ennis Police and a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer and was transported to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

Park was transported back to Madison County after his court appearance in Gallatin County on Tuesday. He was denied bail and remains in custody.

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