A suspended sentence proposed for an artist who shocked a former relative

December 9 – Prosecutors will recommend a well-known local entertainer receive a five-year suspended sentence from the state Department of Corrections for wiring his then-partner’s shower to electrocute her over the summer .

Nicholas Oberling, 59, admitted installing the device under oath during a November 28 plea change hearing in Flathead County District Court. When questioned by his defense attorney, Sean Hinchey, Oberling maintained that the scheme was intended to scare off his former partner.

On July 24, another Oberling relative contacted authorities at Hungry Horse after he suffered multiple shocks when he reached for the soap dish in the shower, according to court documents. Investigators tracked the exposed wires of the soap dish through a hole drilled in the drywall. On the other side, they found the wires wrapped around another set of bare wires and plugged into an outlet, according to court documents.

Oberling described the setup as a way to end her relationship with her partner, prompting a reprimand from Judge Robert Allison, who is overseeing the case.

“If you have to break up with someone, there are better ways to do it,” he told Oberling.

Details of the agreement that led to Oberling’s plea change on Nov. 28 were later filed in district court. When Oberling returns to face Allison for her sentence – scheduled for January 25 – prosecutors will seek a suspended five-year sentence and pay all court-ordered costs and fines.

Managing Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or [email protected].

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