Boyd arraignment

Richard Boyd is arraigned on a homicide charge via video from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility on Tuesday.

A Billings man is denying charges in a homicide case after a man was shot dead at Lee’s Saloon in April.

Gregory Richard Boyd, who turns 37 on Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to charges of deliberate homicide, assault with a weapon and criminal endangerment. The hearing was held Tuesday in Yellowstone County District Court.

Boyd is accused in the shooting death of Shane Nez Perce, 24, early on April 6, 2019.

Prosecutors haven’t said definitively in charging documents if it was Boyd or co-defendant Deandre Laron Gulley who allegedly fired the shots. Witness accounts conflicted, separately identifying both men as the shooter.

A swab tested at the Montana State Crime Lab showed Boyd had gunshot residue on both hands, charges state. Charging documents make no mention of a swab collected from Gulley, who told his girlfriend he was leaving town immediately after the shooting.

According to charges, Boyd and Gulley confronted a group of men smoking outside Lee’s after one of the smokers punched their friend, knocking him unconscious.

After placing their friend in a car, one of the suspects walked back toward the smokers and began shooting, charges state. Police were called shortly before 2 a.m.

Boyd and Gulley face the same charges. Prosecutors have filed alternative charges of assault with a weapon by accountability and criminal endangerment by accountability for both men. The accountability charge for Gulley states that he helped Boyd commit the crime. The accountability charge for Boyd states that he helped Gulley commit the crime.

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Bond remains at $500,000 for Boyd. Boyd may argue for a reduction at a future hearing. 

Prosecutors sought a GPS monitor should Boyd post bond, but Judge Michael Moses declined to impose it. 

Gulley has not yet been scheduled for arraignment. A warrant for his arrest has been issued, with bond set at $500,000.

Boyd and Gulley were charged under a Montana law that says a person who is "legally accountable" for a robbery, assault with a weapon or other forcible felony that causes the death of another person is guilty of deliberate homicide.

Several states have moved away from similar laws in recent years, restricting homicide charges only to those suspected of directly causing a death, The New York Times reported in 2018. 

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Independent Record reporter Tyler Manning contributed reporting.