By Martin J. Kidston
Two men accused of killing Kristi Walker and Kevin Caplette entered a Havre court Thursday afternoon where they were informed of the charges against them.
Entering the room in shackles and handcuffs, suspects Reid Danell and Jacob Spang, both 18, appeared separately before City Court Judge Joyce Perszyk in the Hill County Justice Center.
Perszyk informed the suspects that Hill County Attorney David Rice and Deputy County Attorney Aileen Miller had good reason and probable cause to believe that they had committed the crime of deliberate homicide, by personally and knowingly causing the death of Kristi Walker and Kevin Caplette.
Penalty for such is death or life in prison, Perszyk said, or imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 10 years and no more than 100 years.
The suspects have been denied bail.
The county attorney has 30 days from the time probable cause was established last Friday to bring formal charges against the suspects.
However, it will be our intentions to file before that time, Rice said.
Walker and Caplette were found shot to death at noon on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 1231Sixth St. in Havre. However, police suspect that the victims had been dead for several hours before being discovered by an off-and-on resident of the home.
Probable cause was established when police found evidence which led them to the Highwood Motel in Great Falls, where Danell and Spang were arrested nearly 36 hours after the bodies were discovered.
A 9mm handgun, which police believe was used in the slayings, was recovered in a stolen vehicle found on the Rocky Boys Indian Reservation. Police have not said who they suspect fired the weapon.
The suspects were initially jailed in Great Falls after their arrest and were transported five days later to Havre, where they were assigned representation before entering the court. Robert Peterson has been assigned to represent Danell, while Spang will have two attorneys in his defense, Carl White and another to be determined.
The case will move into District Court.
A third suspect, 15-year-old Francine Spang, is being held at the regional detention center in Great Falls. She will first face charges of possession, obstruction, and resisting arrest before standing trial for facilitating the murder of Walker and Caplette and tampering with evidence related to the crime.