Feb. 7 Montana News Briefs


Panel calls on sheriff to
surrender certifications

HELENA (AP) — Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edward has been asked by a state ethics panel to surrender all of his coroner and peace officer certifications following an incident with his girlfriend at a law enforcement convention.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that the ethics panel asked Edward on Tuesday to surrender his certifications. The panel has control over Edward's certifications, but not his job as sheriff.

Edwards told the panel he does not plan on giving up his position. He acknowledged he was in a loud disturbance with his girlfriend, but denied allegations that he touched her in any way or loaded a gun during the incident. He acknowledged that his actions that night were "not the best."


Man accused of killing estranged wife pleads not guilty

BOZEMAN (AP) — A man accused of killing his estranged wife and injuring her roommate in a shooting has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide and attempted deliberate homicide.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that 47-year-old Joseph Paul DeWise was in court on Tuesday. He is accused of killing 35-year-old Lauren Walder DeWise and injuring 32-year-old Ashley Van Hemert.

Belgrade police responded to a home on Jan. 7 and found Lauren dead and Van Hemert injured — both shot multiple times including in their heads. Paul was immediately named as a suspect. He was arrested Jan. 11 on a $1 million warrant and has denied involvement in the shooting.

Jail documents do not indicate if he has hired an attorney.


Montana man connected to 1996 beating death dies in prison

HELENA (AP) — A Montana State Prison inmate connected to the 1996 beating death of an Idaho man has died in prison.

The Independent Record reports that 61-year-old Joe Edward Gordon died Monday of an extended illness.

Gordon was sentenced to 80 years in prison in 1997 for his role in the kidnapping, robbery and murder of 52-year-old Ririe resident Michael S. Fox.

Prosecutors said Gordon and his accomplice Burly Grimes kidnapped Fox in Idaho after a drinking session and brought him back to Montana in the trunk of his own car. The men smashed his skull with a fire extinguisher at a rock quarry near Whitehall.

The men were arrested in Billings while driving Fox's car. The victim's body was found two months later after Gordon told Idaho authorities where to look.


Great Falls man gets 5 years in prison for wife's death

GREAT FALLS (AP) — A Great Falls man has been sentenced to five years with the Department of Corrections for negligent homicide in the March 2016 death of his wife.

The Great Falls Tribune reports 43-year-old Roy Edward Scott was sentenced Tuesday for the death of 32-year-old Stephanie Wells. He said he "bear hugged" his wife during an argument after a night of drinking. Court records said he told investigators he let go after she stopped moving and whining and saw her face had turned blue.

An autopsy found she died of compression to one side of her neck.

Scott was sentenced to 15 years with the Department of Corrections with 10 suspended. He was given credit for 335 days he spent in jail. The department will determine his placement while he serves his sentence.


Montana man dies in head-on crash behind snow plow

BILLINGS (AP) — A Montana man died in a head-on crash as he tried to pass another vehicle while they were traveling behind a snow plow.

The crash happened at about 4:30 p.m. Monday on U.S. Highway 212 southwest of Billings, near Boyd.

The Montana Highway Patrol reports the man was southbound in a Ford pickup in a line of vehicles following a snow plow. He tried to pass a Chevrolet pickup and collided head-on with a northbound Jeep Wrangler. The Chevrolet pickup and a smaller pickup also hit the victim's vehicle.

Carbon County Sheriff Joe McQuillan said Tuesday that 73-year-old Kent Harris of Red Lodge died at the scene.

Two 16-year-old girls in the smaller pickup were taken to a nearby clinic. The driver of the Jeep had minor injuries while the driver of the Chevy pickup was not injured.