Murder suspect cries during court appearance, admits on Facebook he committed crime

Local

IDAHO FALLS — The suspect accused of shooting and killing a man Saturday night posted about his hatred of the victim on Facebook minutes after allegedly committing the crime.

That’s according to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.

Mark Bent, 41, is accused of killing Nikolas Todd Bird, 23, over the weekend. Bent is charged with first-degree murder and his bond was set at $750,000 during a court hearing Tuesday.

Bent appeared via video from the Bonneville County Jail. He cried and said very little as Magistrate Judge Steven Gardner explained the murder charge. Bird’s family members and friends attended the hearing and many wiped away tears.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Idaho Falls Police officers responded to a call around 10:30 p.m. Saturday for a shooting that occurred on Clair View Lane.

The caller told officers a man was “laying in the street and a full-size truck just left the area.”

The victim, later identified as Bird, had “several gunshot wounds, and was transported to EIRMC where he was later pronounced deceased.”

The affidavit says around 11 p.m., dispatchers received a call from a man who said he was Mark Bent and he was turning himself in.

He told police he “shot someone” and identified that person as “Nik Bird” before telling officers that he was at the Albertsons on 17th Street and there was a gun in his truck.

Officers found Bent and arrested him. A gun was located in the passenger seat of his car with ammunition that matched the shell casings in the area where the shooting occurred.

Later, officers were alerted by a concerned citizen that Bent had seemingly posted a confession on his Facebook page after the shooting.

In the post, Bent states, “I am saddened to say that I have committed some serious crimes today that will put me in jail for the rest of my life.”

He goes on to write that he met Bird through a car-related Facebook group and Bent recently had thoughts of attacking various car-related events around the area due to disagreements with people in the group.

He writes in the post that his “main goal was to kill Nik Bird.”

Bent is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 20 at 1 pm.

Though Bent has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

If convicted, Bent could face the death penalty or life in prison.

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