- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A 26-year-old Great Falls man has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide for a fatal shooting that sparked a three-day manhunt north of Helena.

Branden Miesmer entered his plea Thursday before District Judge Dirk Sandefur in Great Falls. His trial was scheduled for Feb. 22.

Miesmer is charged with shooting 26-year-old Cody Steve Bruyere late on Sept. 6 or early the next day.

Two people said Miesmer forced them to drive him to Helena and he eventually let them go before leading police on a chase, forcing a man and two children out of their car near Lake Helena and abandoning the vehicle near Hauser Dam.

Miesmer was arrested on Sept. 9.

Cascade County Attorney John Parker said Miesmer was under investigation for drug trafficking and Bruyere may also have been involved in illegal drugs.

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