SANDPOINT — A Sagle man has been indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Robert Cameroen Hegseth-Wohali.
Michael Ryan McDermott made an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Tuesday via videoconferencing. Judge Daniel McGee sustained McDermott’s $500,000 bail and appointed a public defender to represent him.
McDermott, 47, politely acknowledged his rights during the minutes-long hearing, but said nothing else.
McDermott shot and killed Hegseth Wohali, 26, with malice aforethought but without premeditation on March 14 or 15, according to the indictment. The indictment alleges McDermott shot Hegseth Wohali in the chest.
McDermott is further charged with failing to notify a coroner or law enforcement officer of the death and secretly disposing of Hegseth Wohali’s body in order to conceal the crime, the indictment alleges.
McDermott has been held at the Bonner County Jail since March 16, when he was arrested for providing false information to a Sandpoint Police officer at the Evergreen Towing yard off Great Northern Road. McDermott, who was wanted a warrant for failing to appear in court on a felony theft charge, attempted to pass himself off as somebody else, but the ploy was undone by a tattoo, according to court documents.
Police went to the north-side salvage and towing yard acting on a tip that McDermott was there with a woman who also was the subject of arrest warrants.
McDermott’s arrest coincided with a search for Hegseth Wohali, who had been reported missing the day after he was killed. Police said in a statement that they received information that Hegseth Wohali had been shot and killed in the city and his body was dumped elsewhere.
Hegseth Wohali’s body was discovered at an undisclosed location south of Sandpoint on March 19, according to Sandpoint Police. Police said they believed Hegseth Wohali was killed at Evergreen Towing and recovered a firearm used in the slaying.
Friends and family have been sharing screen shots on social media of messaging threads which appear to indicate that Hegseth Wohali was attempting to recover a vehicle from an ex-girlfriend at the time he disappeared.
Due to the grand jury indictment, there will be no preliminary hearing in the case. McDermott is scheduled to be arraigned in 1st District Court on April 22.
If convicted of second-degree murder, McDermott faces a prison sentence of 10 years to life. A conviction for the failure-to-notify charge can result in a prison term of up to 10 years.
Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.