Billings man denies murder charge for death of great-grandmother

2013-09-05T12:55:00Z 2014-03-27T16:18:05Z Billings man denies murder charge for death of great-grandmotherBy GREG TUTTLE gtuttle@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A 19-year-old Billings man accused of murdering his 77-year-old great-grandmother made his first appearance Thursday in a Montana courtroom.

Robert Alan Thompson was arraigned by video from the Yellowstone County jail and pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide.

Yellowstone County District Court Judge Mary Jane Knisely set Thompson's bond at $250,000.

Thompson is accused of murder in the July 19 death of Shirley Lawrence, who prosecutors said was bludgeoned and stabbed in her home at 4434 Murphy Ave.

Prosecutors said Thompson was staying at Lawrence's house. He killed his great-grandmother during an argument that started when she suggested he get a job or "he was going to be just like his father," according to court records.  

Thompson was arrested the next day in Denver. He was driving Lawrence's car. Prosecutors say he confessed to the killing while being held in Denver.

Thompson's return to Billings was delayed as he refused to waive extradition proceedings. He was brought back to Billings on Aug. 30 after prosecutors obtained a Montana governor's warrant.      

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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