AP NEWS

Helena man charged with fatal shooting during drug deal

July 2, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Helena-area man is charged with killing a man during a weekend drug deal at his residence east of the city.

Lewis and Clark County officials say 51-year-old Thomas Ralph Bristow made an initial court appearance Tuesday on charges of deliberate homicide, evidence tampering and drug possession. He did not enter a plea. His bail was set at $200,000 and his arraignment is set for July 17.

Two witnesses said they went to Bristow’s residence Sunday to buy methamphetamine and that he shot the victim in the head during a fight.

Court records say a search of Bristow’s residence turned up a bloody tarp, a bullet lodged in a garage door that still had hair on it and a baggie of meth.

Officials have not identified the victim or said if his body has been located.

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