East Grand Forks man charged after trying to shoot squirrel, hitting neighbor's home, changes plea

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18.

A courtroom gavel

EAST GRAND FORKS – An East Grand Forks man charged with one felony and a misdemeanor after trying to shoot a squirrel within city limits has changed his plea.

Michael James Powers, 76, was charged with felony discharge of a firearm within a municipality in December . The charge has a maximum penalty of two years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Powers is also charged with misdemeanor recklessly handling or using a firearm.

On Tuesday, March 28, Powers pleaded guilty to the felony charge.

According to an affidavit in the case, the East Grand Forks Police Department was dispatched on Dec. 4 for suspected bullet holes reported in a house.

The reporting party told law enforcement he’d found holes in the siding of his house that day, as well as broken glass and a bullet on the window ledge inside the home, the affidavit said.


Police located six 0.22 rounds on the property — five in the siding of the house and one on the window ledge. Two suspected bullet holes were also observed in a fence on the property, the affidavit said.

Powers was located next door. He told law enforcement “he was shooting at a red squirrel on top of his bird feeder” from his bedroom window and missed, the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, “Powers further stated the following: this was not the first time he shot at squirrels on the bird feeder.” Powers told police he’d fired the gun through his bedroom window on approximately six occasions over the past two years.

When Powers told his wife he was being arrested, she said, “Well, I told you,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit states Powers told police he couldn’t believe he’d been hitting the house and, if he had known, he would have stopped.

Powers’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18.

Sav Kelly joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 2022.

Kelly covers public safety, including local crime and the courts system.

Readers can reach Kelly at (701) 780-1102 or
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