- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Prosecutors charged a transient from Billings on Thursday in the killing of his former landlord in Miles City and a housekeeper at a Missoula motel.

The Missoula County attorney’s office also says defendant Scott Austin Price stole vehicles from both people and fled to Idaho.

Price was charged with deliberate homicide in the death of motel employee Lonette Keehner and attempted deliberate homicide in the stabbing of a woman at a Missoula grocery store on Monday.

Custer County prosecutors charged Price with killing Ed Martin, 87, on Dec. 14.

Price, 37, was arrested Tuesday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, along with co-defendant Sarah Rae McKnight, 32, of Trout Creek. Both remain jailed in Idaho and have not made court appearances. An officer said he didn’t know if they had attorneys.

McKnight is charged in Missoula County with deliberate homicide, accountability for attempted deliberate homicide and conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping.

Custer County officials say the crime spree began on Dec. 14 when Price went to Martin’s house to buy a pickup truck. Price told officers in Idaho that he and Martin were in a trailer arguing over a sales price when Martin hit him with a flashlight. Price told officers he grabbed a knife and stabbed Martin in the neck, charging documents state.

Prosecutors allege he then assaulted and tied up Martin’s wife and took the pickup truck and $4,000 from a safe. He told investigators McKnight picked him up and they fled town.

McKnight, however, told investigators that she met up with Price in Great Falls, where she was making a federal court appearance. She said she knew Price through her husband.

McKnight said they drove to Missoula in her car but decided they needed a better vehicle and more money so they planned to kidnap someone, steal their car and get PIN numbers for any debit cards they might have, court records said.

McKnight said Price stabbed a woman in the parking lot of a grocery store and they drove across a street to a motel to find a vehicle to steal, court records said. They found Keehner cleaning a room.

Price attributed his actions to methamphetamine use, authorities say.

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