Fantastic Falls’ to start with murder demo due to the fact the COVID-19 pandemic arrived to Montana began Monday with jury variety and opening statements.
Stanley Isaac Lebeau, 54, was originally scheduled to go to demo on March 23, 2020, but his trial was postponed soon after the initial situation of COVID-19 in the state was verified March 11 and Montana shortly immediately after entered a condition of emergency.
Lebeau was accused in Might 2017 of deliberate murder for allegedly killing Tasha Hurry and leaving her body in a bathtub at the Airway Motel in Good Falls.
The Tribune earlier identified the target as Tasha Roberts, but Cascade County Legal professional Josh Racki mentioned she utilised the two previous names. Racki will refer to her as “Hurry” all through the demo, so that is the name the Tribune will use in get to quotation the testimony precisely.
Jury range concluded up swiftly Monday, and lawyers introduced their opening statements Monday afternoon.
Racki confirmed a photo of Hurry, who was 28 when she was killed on Could 14, 2017. He also confirmed the jury a image of her in the bathtub in which investigators found her.
Racki reported two days immediately after Rush’s death, law enforcement was hunting for Lebeau for the reason that he experienced slash off a GPS tracking device essential by his probation in a different make a difference.
Law enforcement tracked down Lebeau and detained him. Racki mentioned Lebeau requested officers to loosen his handcuffs and if they did, he would inform them about a murder.
“In an eerie, deadpan voice, the defendant informed them he had killed a female in his space,” Racki said, “and that they should really be satisfied they had caught him due to the fact he was likely to go on a killing spree, killing other folks and using hostages.”
Three officers went to Airway Motel and observed Hurry in the bathtub, where by Lebeau allegedly told them she would be.
After he was taken into custody, Lebeau allegedly instructed a number of other people he came in contact with that he experienced killed Hurry and planned to kill other folks.
Racki confirmed a movie of Lebeau at the station indicating, “I killed some chick,” and played a recording of him telling a detective, “She wouldn’t shut up and I retained hitting her and hitting her and hitting her.”
Racki performed an additional recording of a simply call Lebeau designed from a cellular phone at the Cascade County Detention Heart to a close buddy in which he once more admitted to killing Hurry.
A jail inmate will also testify that Lebeau admitted the crime to him and talked about methods to beat the scenario, fool the jury and confuse the evidence.
Racki claimed his scenario was not centered on Lebeau’s confessions by yourself. The state will provide actual physical evidence that features a blood-soaked bed and clothing from both equally Rush and Lebeau.
At 1 level, Racki said Lebeau informed police he experienced purchased a knife to dismember Rush, and the point out designs to present evidence of that invest in.
A thirty day period later on, Lebeau changed his tale, in accordance to Racki. He claimed Rush’s death was an accident and advised police in a letter that he and Rush had been in an argument. He said he picked up a tree root and threw it at her, that it must have strike her, but he didn’t see her die.
Lebeau’s legal professional, Jay Reno, questioned the jury to see his customer as a human getting and to see the situation objectively with out leaping to conclusions.
“Stan is a tough-wanting specific,” Reno reported. “He is lived a challenging existence. He’s created quite a few faults, and he is paid for people mistakes. What he is not is a murderer.”
Reno said Lebeau identified Rush’s body in his motel area and then did not report it to authorities for two times. Nonetheless, he reported, Lebeau did not get rid of her.
Reno admitted in his opening that Lebeau’s confessions sounded incriminating, but people statements were just stories. He asked the jury not to decide Lebeau primarily based on his overall look or the alleged demand.
“You do not have to like Stan,” Reno mentioned. “To be honest, I would not possibly affiliate with Stan out in the authentic environment.”
All through the trial, Reno claimed the prosecution would current a variety of witnesses and proof. He claimed there would be no physical evidence that Lebeau fully commited the crime.
He mentioned several not known men and women experienced engaged in sexual intercourse with Rush in just 24 hrs of her demise and no murder weapon was discovered.
The demo will carry on on Tuesday and is predicted to previous just one week.
Prison justice reporter Traci Rosenbaum experiences on regulation enforcement challenges for the Tribune. Get to her at [email protected] or 406-791-1490.
Follow her on Twitter @GFTrib_TRosenba.
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