The suspect in a triple slaying in a tiny Montana town made an initial court appearance in Washington state on Monday, as authorities identified the victims as relatives of the defendant.
Robert James LeCou faces three counts of deliberate homicide in the shooting deaths of Lloyd Lamb, 76; Lamb's wife, Sharon Hill-Lamb, 72; and LeCou's wife, Karen Hill-LeCou, 54. The two women were sisters.
Neighbors of the victims said the defendant and his wife had moved from Washington state in recent months to help care for Lloyd Lamb, who was physically disabled.
The bodies were discovered Thursday, two days after authorities say LeCou shot the three victims in the head at a house they shared in the agricultural town of Belfry.
Authorities have not speculated on a motive for the murders. LeCou could face the death penalty if convicted.
He was arrested on Friday outside Spokane, Wash., and is being held on a $10 million bond. Montana authorities are seeking to have him extradited.
During an initial court appearance for LeCou on Monday, Superior Court Judge Gregory Sypolt in Spokane scheduled an April 23 hearing in the defendant's extradition case.
Court officials say LeCou has the option to challenge his extradition. His court-appointed public defender could not be reached immediately for comment.
In 1999, LeCou was among a group of men accused of using an aluminum baseball bat to beat to death a homeless man, Robin "Bird" Clark, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the case after being convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and released in 2009, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
At the time of his arrest in the Texas case, LeCou and his brother, John Paul, faced accusations in Tennessee of getting into a shootout with police that left a bystander injured.
News reports at the time described Robert LeCou as a member of a violent and loosely knit group of freight train riders known as the Freight Train Riders of America.