Murder suspect had long record
November 12, 2013
Correction: The print edition of this story incorrectly listed the location of the murder scene.
Shane C. Johnson, 45, of Havre, the man who police say shot Travis Johnson, 43, at a 2nd Avenue residence, will appear in Havre City Court this afternoon.
Shane Johnson is being held on $250,000 bail in the Hill County Detention Center.
His court appearance this afternoon will be on an unrelated charge of privacy in communications violation, but Havre police said he is being held pending deliberate homicide charges. Details of the privacy charge filed in August were not available.
Police said emergency medical personnel and officers were dispatched to the residence on the 700 block of 2nd Street home early Sunday morning after a caller reported "an unconscious male."
The victim was taken to Northern Montana Hospital where he was declared dead.
Police were being tight-lipped about the case, saying the investigation is ongoing.
However, according to public records, Johnson has a long criminal history and in 2012 finished serving sentences for crimes committed in 2003 and 2005.
In 2003, he was charged with burglary, theft, forgery and sexual intercourse without consent when he was accused of stealing collector coins from an 81-year-old woman who had paid him to do odd jobs for her and selling them and stealing checks from her and attempting to cash them, as well as accusations he raped the woman.
The rape charge was dropped in a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to the felony burglary, theft and forgery charges.
In 2004, he was charged with incest for allegedly raping a 7-year-old child, then charged in 2005 with threats in official matters for sending four letters to a Hill County deputy attorney in which he used foul and vulgar language to describe the attorney and threatened to file a lawsuit and made other threats if the attorney prosecuted the incest charge.
A jury found Johnson not guilty of the incest charge, but he pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to the charge of threats in official matters.
In January 2009, state District Judge John McKeon revoked the remaining suspended sentences in those cases and resentenced Johnson to prison after finding that he had violated conditions of his parole including by possessing alcohol, drinking alcohol and going into bars as well as violating traffic laws and being charged with driving under the influence.
The state Department of Corrections confirmed this morning that those sentences had expired and Johnson had been released in 2012.