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Man whose family posted $450K cash bond in homicide case wants public defender

Posted Jul 11, 2014 5:45 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A Montana man accused of shooting a woman to death while he was drunk and she was speaking to a 911 dispatcher from his home in Billings has been released on $450,000 cash bond posted by his family,

Now Richard Douglas Reinert, 28, is arguing that he should be granted a public defender in the homicide case, the Billings Gazette reports.

Appearing on his own behalf Thursday, Reinert told a district court judge that he disagrees with an assessment by the public defender's office that he doesn't qualify for representation there. The judge said he could request another evaluation by the office and scheduled a future status hearing for Reinert, who is required to wear a GPS monitor as a condition of his release. He has pleaded not guilty.

The newspaper says Jessica Stephenson, 25, was shot to death at Reinert's home in December, after she called 911 and reported that Reinert was pointing a gun at himself. She told the dispatcher that she had helped a friend bring the friend's drunken husband—Reinert—home from a bar. As the recorded call continued, shots rang out, Stephenson stopped talking and a different woman's voice shouted: "You shot her! What are you doing?” charging documents state.

In the background, a man's voice said: "You made me do this,” the newspaper reports.

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