Missoula homicide suspect held on $1 million bail, victim identified (2024)

A Missoula woman arrested on suspicion of shooting and killing her neighbor on Monday is being held on a $1 million bail in Missoula.

John H. “Joan” Eikens, 35, is charged with one count of deliberate homicide, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a peace officer, Missoula County court documents show.

Missoula homicide suspect held on $1 million bail, victim identified (1)

The victim is identified as Tom Yearboro, 56, in court documents.

Charging documents allege Eikens shot Yearboro at a fourplex apartment building on South Eighth Street West on Monday evening. She subsequently barricaded herself for several hours and was eventually arrested.

“All evidence in this case, as outlined in the state's affidavit of probable cause, suggests that this was a random act of senseless violence perpetrated against an unarmed neighbor who was loading groceries into his vehicle when the defendant shot him in cold blood,” Missoula Deputy County Attorney Brielle Lande said at Eiken’s initial court appearance on Wednesday afternoon.

People are also reading…

Lande said Eikens and Yearboro only knew each other in passing.

Missoula police responded to a call for a man that was shot on Monday around 7:42 p.m. by a woman on the 1700 block of South Eighth Street West. The caller reported a man was laying on the ground, not moving. The caller heard just one shot, but believed the man was shot by a woman using a pistol.

On scene, police found a man, identified as Yearboro, lying on his side nearly face down in front of the fourplex, with blood pooling on the ground under him, according to charging documents. First responders put a chest seal over what looked like a single gunshot wound to Yearboro’s chest. He was pronounced dead in an ambulance, according to court documents.

The initial caller told police he heard a gunshot and went outside. He saw a woman standing near Yearboro, who was falling to the ground. The witness reported seeing what he thought was a revolver-style handgun in the woman’s hand. The suspect then walked up the stairs to the fourplex. Law enforcement identified the suspect as Eikens, who is known as Joan.

They set up a perimeter around the crime scene and started evacuating other residents of the fourplex.

Callout attempts to get Eikens out of the apartment were unsuccessful, and at one point officers saw window blinds from her apartment close.

MPD’s crisis negotiation team, SWAT crew and explosives team were sent to the scene. For several hours, authorities used a PA system to communicate with Eikens, telling her she was under arrest and to leave the apartment.

Missoula homicide suspect held on $1 million bail, victim identified (2)

They deployed a chemical gas into the unit and Eikens immediately started communicating, charging documents state. She told them she padlocked the door from the inside but couldn’t find the key. She eventually came out of the apartment through the front door and was arrested around 11 p.m.

Officers cleared the apartment and didn’t find anyone else inside. Law enforcement discovered the fourplex was owned by Eikens' parents, according to court documents.

Detectives saw blood evidence on the ground outside, along with keys, a phone and grocery bags. DNA evidence was collected from the scene. They served a search warrant on Eikens' apartment. They found blood streaks on bathroom walls and near the bathtub, along with a revolver that was chambered in a .22 long rifle. Five bullets and a spent casing were found inside the revolver, according to court documents.

Detectives went to the Missoula jail to interview Eikens. She was read her Miranda rights and invoked her right to legal counsel, court documents state. The investigation is still ongoing.

Eikens will enter a plea at a hearing on June 17 in Missoula County District Court. She’s being represented by Missoula attorney Jordan Kilby, who spoke briefly in court to say she'd make bail arguments at a future hearing.

If Eikens posts bail, she’s ordered to only be released to pretrial supervision and is prohibited from possessing firearms or having contact with case witnesses.

Zoë Buchli is the education reporter for the Missoulian.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

'); var s = document.createElement('script'); s.setAttribute('src', 'https://assets.revcontent.com/master/delivery.js'); document.body.appendChild(s); window.removeEventListener('scroll', throttledRevContent); __tnt.log('Load Rev Content'); } } }, 100); window.addEventListener('scroll', throttledRevContent); }

Be the first to know

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

Missoula homicide suspect held on $1 million bail, victim identified (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated:

Views: 5849

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.