Man suspected of killing great-grandmother fights return to Montana again

2013-08-06T11:15:00Z 2014-03-27T16:18:05Z Man suspected of killing great-grandmother fights return to Montana againBy ZACH BENOIT The Billings Gazette

A Billings man being held in Colorado on suspicion of murdering his great-grandmother in her South Side home in July has for the second time in two weeks refused to waive his right to extradition to Montana.

Robert Alan Thomspon, 19, remains in custody on suspicion of deliberate homicide in Denver, Colo., where he appeared in a courtroom on Monday for a status hearing.

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said during the hearing Thompson declined to willingly return to Billings. He previously declined to do so during a late-July hearing in Denver.

If Thompson continues to decline to waive extradition, Twito’s office has obtained a governor’s warrant from Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s office to return him to Montana and is waiting for Colorado’s governor to sign off on it.

Once approved, Montana authorities have 60 days to return Thompson to Billings.

“We will likely get him here well before those 60 days are up,” Twito said.

Thompson was arrested on July 20 in Denver in connection with the July 19 beating and stabbing death of his great-grandmother, 77-year-old Shirley Lawrence, at her home on Murphy Avenue in Billings.

Billings Police identified Thompson early in the investigation as a person of interest and circulated an attempt-to-locate notice on him.

Police in Denver pulled Thompson over as he drove Lawrence’s car, and he later admitted to them that he attacked and killed her, according to an affidavit filed in Yellowstone County.

Thompson’s next hearing in Denver is scheduled for Aug. 26.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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