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Man convicted of first-degree murder

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Hagadone News Network | May 5, 2022 1:00 AM

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COEUR d’ALENE — It took a jury about three hours on Wednesday to find a Bonners Ferry man guilty of killing his girlfriend.

Victor A. Claus, 55, was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 45-year-old Melyssa L. Schloe.

Claus reportedly shot Schloe in the head last April while she was driving northbound on U.S. 95, killing her and causing a multi-car crash that injured two people, including Claus.

Before the crash, another motorist called 911 to report a possible “rolling” domestic dispute between Claus and Schloe.

Claus told police he and Schloe were arguing when she grabbed his handgun off the dashboard, where he said he always kept it, and shot herself.

Police said no gunpowder residue or blood spatter were found on Schloe’s hands.

First-degree murder is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life or the death penalty.

Claus is scheduled to be sentenced July 22.