Knifing claims man’s life after fight over money in assisted living facility

2014-03-20T19:51:00Z 2014-03-22T07:08:08Z Knifing claims man’s life after fight over money in assisted living facilityBy Angela Brandt Montana Standard The Billings Gazette
March 20, 2014 7:51 pm  • 

BUTTE — The victim’s throat was slashed with a large butcher knife in a homicide Wednesday morning at an assisted living facility in Butte, authorities said.

The motive was a fight over money, police said. Both the suspect and victim are 72, both lived at the facility, and both had been drinking, police said.

John Edward Grubbs Sr., the suspect, made an initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Butte justice court on charges of deliberate homicide. Bond was set at $250,000.

The incident occurred about 2 a.m. at Continental Gardens Housing, 100 Gardens Way, just off Continental Drive, they said.

An employee who witnessed the fight, which occurred in a commons area, called police.

When authorities arrived, the victim was dead, police said. Grubbs was arrested without incident at the scene.

“He didn’t attempt to conceal himself or flee or resist arrest,” said Sheriff Ed Lester.

Coroner Lee LaBreche said officials are trying to locate the victim’s family. His name has not been released.

An autopsy is slated for Thursday.

“There is no ongoing danger to the general public as a result of this incident,” Lester added.

Continental Gardens Housing has 60 total units with 60 assisted living units. The property is intended for the low-income disabled or elderly people, according to its website.

A spokesman for the Human Resources Council, which manages the nonprofit facility, said Wednesday the board of directors and the council are “deeply saddened’’ by the loss of life.

“The safety of all people who work and live in our housing facilities is a high priority for us and we will continue to make it a priority,’’ said Elissa Mitchell, executive director of the council.

“We have every confidence that the violent act that occurred (Wednesday) was an isolated incident between two individuals and that the Continental Gardens facility remains a safe and nurturing place to live.’’

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