HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A man who reportedly confessed to killing a Deer Lodge man and his mother has been transferred to Ravalli County where he faces an effort to revoke his suspended sentence in a 1998 crime.
County Attorney Bill Fulbright said David Wayne Nelson, 53, is scheduled to appear before District Judge Jeffrey Langton on Wednesday morning. Fulbright has asked the judge to revoke the 5-year suspended portion of Nelson’s sentence for kidnapping and accountability to burglary.
The petition, filed Dec. 4, alleges Nelson violated the terms of his probation by killing 79-year-old Beverly Giannonatti and 57-year-old Gregory Giannonatti and by traveling out of the county without the permission of his probation officer.
Information supporting the petition said Nelson confessed to the killings on Nov. 29 and told investigators where they could find the bodies and other evidence. Nelson has not been charged in their deaths, a spokeswoman in the Powell County attorney’s office said Tuesday.
The Giannonattis were believed to have been killed Oct. 25, two days after prosecutors say Nelson traveled to Missoula and sold 17 of Greg Giannonatti’s 100-ounce silver bars to a gold and silver dealer for more than $26,000.
Nelson was a handyman who had done maintenance work for the company managing rental apartments for Beverly Giannonatti, and he had been doing work at her deceased ex-husband’s home around the time the Giannonattis disappeared, Powell County Sheriff Scott Howard has said.
The silver was taken from Bill Giannonatti’s former residence north of Deer Lodge where a maid had found a 25-pound gold bar on Oct. 19, officials said. Beverly Giannonatti had retrieved the gold bar, worth more than $400,000, Howard has said. Officials were still searching for the bar after Nelson was charged with violating his probation.
Howard did not return a phone call Tuesday seeking to learn if the gold bar had been found.
Nelson was booked into the Ravalli County jail in Hamilton on Monday. He is being held without bond.
Ron Piper, Nelson’s public defender in the petition to revoke his suspended sentence, did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press.
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