Lockwood shooting defendant denies charges

2013-03-08T12:01:00Z 2013-12-17T07:44:05Z Lockwood shooting defendant denies chargesGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

A man accused of ambushing his father and shooting him in the back during a gunfight in Lockwood was arraigned Friday in Yellowstone County District Court.

Brandon Jay Joseph White, 23, appeared before Judge Mary Jane Knisely by video from the county jail and pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a weapon, an alternative count of assault with a weapon by accountability, and one count of tampering with evidence.

Knisely maintained White's bond at $150,000, rejecting a public defender's request for a lower amount.

Deputy Public Defender Greg Paskell argued that White's bond should be set at $75,000 because the charges stem from an ongoing dispute with White's father.

Paskell also disputed the tampering charge, which alleges that White had changed the color of the car he was driving to evade arrest for about a month.

Paskell said White was hiding from his father, not the police.

Prosecutors allege that on Jan. 29, Brandon White and another man, who has not been identified, waited for Walter White outside his Lockwood auto body shop. Walter White arrived in a Ford Bronco at about 3:20 a.m. with a female passenger.

Prosecutors said video from a security camera shows that two men in a passenger car opened fire on the Bronco, and the driver of the Bronco returned fire.

Walter White was hit in the back during the exchange of gunfire. Numerous .45-caliber shell casings were found at the scene.

The shooting may have stemmed from a $10,000 drug debt. After his arrest in Laurel on Feb. 26, Brandon White told police that his father and another man had confronted him about the debt in mid-January, authorities said.    

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