FORT BENTON (AP)
A man arrested in the deadly shooting of another man made his first court appearance Monday. Charles A. Lundy, 44, of Fort Benton, was arrested Friday, along with Kelsey J. Morris, 23, according to Chouteau County Sheriff Vern Burdick. Both were arrested on suspicion of murder in the death of John C. Wendell, 26, of Fort Benton, Burdick said. Prosecutors declined to charge Morris with murder, opting to seek an obstruction of justice charge instead, the sheriff said. Lundy appeared Monday morning in Justice Court on charges of murder and tampering with evidence. He was being held on $500,000 bail. Morris also made an initial court appearance. Her bail was set at $50,000. An after-hours message left for Morris' attorney was not immediately returned. There was no telephone listing for her in Fort Benton. A message left for a Charles Lundy in Fort Benton was not immediately returned. It was not known whether he had hired an attorney. Authorities said family members reported Wendell missing Friday after he failed to show up for work for two days in a row. "It was out of character for him not to show up for work," Burdick said. The investigation led sheriff's deputies to Lundy's home, and Lundy gave deputies permission to search, according to court records. The deputies found a shell casing from a handgun under the seat of Lundy's sport utility vehicle, along with dark stains on the floor and on a blanket, prosecutors said in the documents. In addition, the vehicle smelled of cleaning solution and air fresheners, prosecutors said. Deputies asked Lundy if there had been some sort of accident, and Lundy started crying and said, "The family Will ... kill me. They won't understand," according to the court records. Lundy then told the deputies he and Wendell were "quick drawing" when the gun went off, striking Wendell in the head, prosecutors said. Lundy led investigators to the body, which was hidden under cardboard and dirt in a coulee about 20 miles northeast of Fort Benton, prosecutors alleged. Investigators alleged both Lundy and Morris initially lied to them about what happened.