Coroner's jury: Officer justified in shooting
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A coroner's jury deliberated for about 15 minutes before
finding a Billings police sergeant was justified when he fatally shot a man
who had earlier shot and other officers and was approaching him in a motel hallway
with a pistol raised.
The six-member jury reached its decision Wednesday after a two-day hearing in
to the May 24 death of 29-year-old Michael Brandon.
Brandon fired at officers who tried to arrest him at a convenience store and
fled to a motel, where he hid in the bathroom.
Officers said unbeknownst to them, Brandon's girlfriend was at the hotel trying
to help him escape, but didn't tell police where he was hiding.
Sgt. Shawn Mayo testified that if officers had known, they could have evacuated
the motel and tried to negotiate with him.