East Grand Forks man sentenced for shooting at squirrel, hitting neighbor's home

If he successfully completes four years of unsupervised probation, the felony conviction will be removed from his record.


EAST GRAND FORKS — An East Grand Forks man who attempted to shoot a squirrel, but instead hit his neighbor’s residence, was granted a stay of adjudication on Tuesday, April 18.

Michael James Powers, 76, was charged with felony discharge of a firearm within city limits and misdemeanor reckless handling of a weapon in December. In March, Powers pleaded guilty to the felony charge, and the misdemeanor was dismissed.

Powers was sentenced to four years of unsupervised probation. His probation conditions include no use or possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives. Powers is also required to turn over any weapons currently in his possession.

Additionally, Powers will be subject to random searches by law enforcement, if there is reasonable suspicion. Powers is prohibited from contact with the victims but is required to write a letter of apology.

Upon successful completion of his probationary period, the felony conviction will be removed from Powers’ record.


According to an affidavit in the case, an East Grand Forks resident reported suspected bullet holes in his home on Dec. 4.

When the East Grand Forks Police Department arrived on scene, the reporting party said that, along with holes in the siding, he found broken glass and a bullet hole on the window ledge inside, the affidavit said.

Six 0.22 rounds were located, and additional suspected bullet holes were found in a fence on the property, the affidavit said.

Next door, Powers told police he was shooting at a squirrel from his bedroom window and missed. Powers said he shot at squirrels through his window on approximately six occasions over two years, the affidavit said.

Powers told police if he had known he’d been hitting the house, he would have stopped, the affidavit said.

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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