- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A coroner’s jury has ruled a Yellowstone County Sheriff’s lieutenant was justified in the fatal shooting of an armed fugitive.

The Billings Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1qLDSWy ) the seven-person jury took five minutes to reach Wednesday’s verdict in an inquest at the county’s detention facility.

Lt. Shane Skillen shot 42-year-old Dean Randolph Jess July 5 during a standoff outside a Billings shopping center.

The inquest was held to determine if Skillen acted appropriately.

Jess was in a stolen vehicle after escaping from Montana State Prison. Authorities say Skillen shot him after Jess made a move for a gun.

Law-enforcement officers have shot and killed five people in Billings in two years. Four of the shootings have been ruled as justified.

An unarmed robbery suspect was shot by a Billings police officer Monday.


Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com

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