Great Falls man convicted of using hatchet to kill man
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A Great Falls man was convicted Tuesday of using a hatchet to kill another man during a street fight more than three years ago.
The jury heard closing statements on Monday and deliberated for more than six hours before finding James Michael Parker guilty of deliberate homicide in the March 2018 death of Lloyd Geaudry, 45.
Geaudry died of a sharp force injury to his neck that fractured his spine and severed an artery, court records said.
Prosecutors said 11 people were involved in the fight and that Parker had Geaudry’s blood on his shoes.
The defense argued that witnesses gave inconsistent statements, that the hatchet was never located and that investigators zeroed in on Parker to the exclusion of other potential suspects, the Great Falls Tribune reported.
Parker was also convicted of assaulting another person during the fight and was found guilty of witness tampering for threatening the life of Christopher Petty, who testified he heard Parker confess to killing Geaudry and was later housed near Parker in the Cascade County regional jail.
Parker was acquitted of a second assault charge. He faces a sentence of up to life in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.