Shooting Death Deemed Justifiable - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Shooting Death Deemed Justifiable

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS -

The investigation into a sheriff's deputy-involved shooting in May ends. New details were released into the murder of 49-year-old, Thomas Hilger.

Jurors said Sheriff's Deputy Martin Stuart was justified in shooting 49-year-old, Thomas Hilger, in Worden. Around 3:00 AM on Friday May 24th, deputies said they responded to a call involving Thomas Hilger trying to stage the death of his 22-year-old girlfriend, Erica Yurian. When deputies showed up near the 406 Bar in Worden, Hilger would not comply with officers, and he displayed a gun. That's when Sheriff's Deputy, Martin Stuart, fired two shots at Thomas Hilger. On shot was fired into his shoulder and the other went into his back. "The death was justifiable homicide, and the person it was caused by was Martin Stuart. And in the opinion of the jury it was not by criminal means," Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis said.

According to medical experts, Thomas Hilger died at St. Vincent Healthcare 12 hours after he was shot. According to Dr. Stephen Ball, Hilger admitted to murdering Erica Yurian.

Medical experts say 22-year-old Erica Yurian died at 10:00 PM on May 23rd from a gunshot wound to the head. Experts said it appeared Hilger had the gun pressed directly to the back of her head during the execution. When deputies responded to the scene hours after the murder, Hilger would not comply with officers, displayed a gun, and Deputy Stuart fired two shots.

Later, when Hilger was flown to St. Vincent Healthcare he denied surgery, and he told the anesthesiologist he had 'screwed up.' "Once that decision is made for D.N.I. or DNR it's left in the hands of an intensivist or the general surgeon taking care of him," Dr. Stephen Ball said.

According to medical experts, Hilger died at St. Vincent Healthcare 12 hours after he was initially shot. Doctors said if Hilger would have agreed to surgery, and he would have been paralyzed for life due to gunshot wounds to the spine.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Cobell Settlement Checks Going Out

    Cobell Settlement Checks Going Out

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:21 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:21:12 GMT
    The first checks are going out in the Cobell Settlement, the federal land buyback program.
    The first checks are going out in the Cobell Settlement, the federal land buyback program.
  • Enterovirus Watch

    Enterovirus Watch

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:20 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:20:09 GMT
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring the spread of enterovirus across the nation. As of September 15, the CDC confirmed more than 100 cases nationwide, with Illinois and Missouri being particularly hard hit. Last week, Riverstone Health announced Montana's first case in Yellowstone County. According to the CDC, this particular strain - D68 - has been known for more than 50 years, but it is uncommon in the United States. Mild symptoms are similar to a classic cold, incl...
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring the spread of enterovirus across the nation. As of September 15, the CDC confirmed more than 100 cases nationwide, with Illinois and Missouri being particularly hard hit. Last week, Riverstone Health announced Montana's first case in Yellowstone County. According to the CDC, this particular strain - D68 - has been known for more than 50 years, but it is uncommon in the United States. Mild symptoms are similar to a classic cold, incl...
  • Man Shot Tuesday Morning

    Man Shot Tuesday Morning

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:05 AM EDT2014-09-16 10:05:06 GMT
    A man is in the hospital, and Billings Police are searching for a shooting suspect.
    A man is in the hospital, and Billings Police are searching for a shooting suspect.