By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A domestic disturbance in Harlem ended in tragedy Thursday night as one Blaine County Sheriff's deputy was killed and another wounded.
Deputy Joshua Thomas Rutherford was slain in the line of duty shortly after 10:15 p.m. along U.S. Highway 2 just south of Harlem near a power substation. He died at the scene. Deputy Loren Janis also was wounded in the incident, and transported to Billings for medical treatment.
Authorities did not release the ages of the victims.
Laurence Jackson Jr., 25, of Harlem was arrested following the killing and remains jailed in the Hill County Detention Center pending further investigation. Law enforcement officials have not said when or where he was arrested. A dispatch log from Hill County shows he was transported to jail at 5:08 a.m. today.
Jackson is registered in Blaine County as a violent offender, according to the Montana Sexual and Violent Offender Registry. He was convicted of aggravated assault in 1999 and lists a Harlem address.
During an emotional press conference before a small crowd in the Blaine County Courthouse this morning, Blaine County Sheriff Glenn Huestis made a brief statement in which he identified the victims.
"Deputy Rutherford was a valuable member of the sheriff's office," Huestis said. "He exemplified professionalism and the commitment to service that the residents of this county have come to expect."
He asked that people respect the privacy of Rutherford's family.
Huestis did not give any details about the incident and declined to answer questions from the media following the release.
It is not clear what weapon was involved in the incident.
Huestis said he would divulge additional information during a press conference to be held later this weekend.
Huestis thanked the agencies who had assisted the sheriff's office. He named the Havre and Chinook Police departments, the Highway Patrol, tribal police, the FBI, the Hill County Sheriff's Office, the Havre Fire Department and other emergency personnel.
Huestis said Havre police would lead the investigation. It is unclear what roles the other agencies have at this point.
Rutherford's body will be taken to the state crime lab for an autopsy. Huestis did not say when he expects the results to be available.
The incident occurred in a field between a Harlem motel and power substation along U.S. Highway 2.
Law enforcement officials have cordoned off a portion of the road while officers comb the crime scene for evidence. A number of agencies were on site this morning including investigators in unmarked vehicles. The area was surrounded by tape and possible evidence had been marked by numbered flags.
Blaine County Attorney Yvonne Laird declined to comment today.