Supco upholds homicide verdict in 2009 shooting
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- The Montana Supreme Court has upheld the deliberate
homicide conviction of a Roundup man in the July 2009 shooting death of his
Bobby Joe Cooksey argued he did not receive a fair trial in the death of Tracy
Beardslee, who was shot while trimming weeds on a private road 12 miles
southeast of Roundup.
Cooksey was convicted in September 2010 and sentenced to 50 years in prison.
The Billings Gazette reports Cooksey's appeal alleged juror and prosecutorial
misconduct, that District Judge Randal Spaulding improperly excluded evidence of
Beardslee's use of antidepressants and that law enforcement failed to properly
investigate Cooksey's claim of self-defense.
The Supreme Court rejected Cooksey's arguments, but two judges dissented,
saying deputies did not adequately investigate Cooksey's self-defense claim.