Price pleads guilty to Missoula murder

The day after pleading guilty to a Miles City murder, a former Miles City resident plead guilty to the murder of a woman in Missoula during a December crime spree. 

Scott Austin Price, 38, plead guilty Monday to deliberate homicide and aggravating kidnapping in Miles City via video.

On Tuesday he appeared in Missoula County District Court in person to plead guilty to deliberate homicide, attempted deliberate homicide, conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping, tampering with evidence and solicitation to commit felony theft. 

The lead prosecutor in Missoula County, Jason Marks, said they are seeking life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on the counts of attempted homicide and deliberate homicide. 

Custer County Attorney Wyatt Glade said the state is asking for life imprisonment on two counts for the Miles City crimes, plus 10 years for using a weapon, with no parole restrictions. The earliest Price possibly could ask for release would be when he’s 70 years old. 

On Dec. 14 Price got into an argument over the cost of a fifth-wheel camper Price wanted to buy from 78-year-old Ed Martin.

Price grabbed a knife and killed the man. Then he went into Martin’s home, got a bandage from Helen Martin for a cut on his nose, then allegedly physically assaulted her, tied her up and put her in the basement. 

Price then allegedly took $4,000 from the Martins’ home, stole Martin’s pickup truck, and fled.

He told officers he threw the knife into the Yellowstone River, according to court records. 

On Dec. 21 Price resurfaced with Sarah McKnight in Missoula. 

With a plan to steal a car, he stabbed a 68-year-old woman in the stomach outside a grocery store, left her in the car, and fled without the car. 

According to the Missoulian newspaper, Price told the court Tuesday that he had intended to kill the woman.

Then he went to a nearby hotel and killed 56-year-old Lonette Keehner, who was cleaning one of the rooms, after he got her car keys.  McKnight took Keehner’s car, and Price allegedly disposed of the murder weapon. 

The next day the pair were arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Price told officers there that his actions were due to his methamphetamine use.

McKnight plead guilty in May to several felonies — including deliberate homicide — for her role in the Missoula crimes. She has not been sentenced in that case and is serving time at the Montana State Prison for a 2014 burglary in Powell County.

Price will be sentenced in Miles City on Dec. 5 and on Dec. 12 in Missoula, along with McKnight.

Meanwhile, Price remains in custody in Missoula County.