Darionn Tyler Douglas

GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls man pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in Cascade County Court on Wednesday for the fatal assault of a 26-year-old man.

Darionn Tyler Douglas has been charged with deliberate homicide, or alternatively negligent homicide after the victim he’s accused of assaulting was declared legally dead; he was deemed brain-dead earlier this month.

The victim in the case was declared brain dead a few days after the assault.

The identity of the victim has not been released.

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The assault happened on Sept. 5 around 2 a.m. by the intersection of 7th Avenue South and 12th Street near Longfellow Elementary School.

According to court documents, Douglas told police that he and the other man had been drinking and began arguing, which “evolved into a mutual challenge to fight.”

Douglas said that the other man hit him first, breaking his nose and chipping his tooth. Douglas said that he then kicked the victim in the face, knocking him out.

The documents stated Douglas told police he then “repeatedly punched, elbowed and kneed (the victim) in the face.”

The trial has been set for January 8.