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A 76-year-old Bozeman man attempted to strangle a woman to death over the weekend after having a dream about the devil, according to law enforcement.

Clyde Eggart is charged with felony attempted deliberate homicide. He appeared by video Wednesday morning in Gallatin County Justice Court from Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, where he is receiving treatment.

According to court documents, Bozeman Police Department officers and detectives responded to a 911 call in the area of Christoper Way and Fowler Avenue in west-central Bozeman, near Bozeman Summit School, at about 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 7.

When law enforcement arrived, the woman told them Eggart had “wrapped his hands around her neck and applied pressure,” court documents say.

She said that Eggart pinned her to the floor and that she had been struggling to escape, including biting him in the hand, until she “went limp.” The woman was then able to break away from Eggart and run to the neighbor’s house for help. The neighbor called 911.

Eggart told officers just arriving on the scene that he “tried to kill” the woman, according to court documents. Later, after Eggart was brought to the hospital for treatment, he said he did not know what possessed him to try to kill the woman and that he had nightmares about the devil the night before.

The woman, who was being treated separately at Deaconess Hospital for injuries, told law enforcement that in July 2020 she woke up to Eggart standing over her and that, when she asked what he was doing, he responded that he was trying to figure out how to kill her.

Justice Court Judge Rick West released Eggart on his own recognizance with the condition that he stay at Bozeman Health, where he is receiving treatment for an unspecified injury or condition, or at another clinic or treatment facility. Eggart is also not allowed to have any form of contact with the woman, come within 300 feet of the residence where the alleged crime happened, leave the state, or possess any firearms or other dangerous weapons. West appointed the public defender’s office to represent Eggart.

If convicted of attempted deliberate homicide, a felony, Eggart could face a minimum of 10 years in prison with a maximum of 100 years or a life sentence.

A preliminary hearing was set for 8 a.m. on Nov. 26. Because the crime Eggart is accused of committing is a felony, future court proceedings will be held in Gallatin County District Court.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

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