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>>

  • Missing In America Project Makes Stop in Billings

    Missing In America Project Makes Stop in Billings

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:50 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:50:24 GMT
    Carmen Gonzalez is thankful for the Missing in America Project.

    MIAP claims unclaimed, cremated veteran remains and gives them their proper burial. Gonzalez

    lost two brothers while they were serving as marines. She said to see veterans honor their fallen brothers brings joy to her heart and tears to her eyes.

    Carmen Gonzalez is thankful for the Missing in America Project.
    MIAP claims unclaimed, cremated veteran remains and gives them their proper burial. Gonzalez
    lost two brothers while they were serving as marines. She said to see veterans honor their fallen brothers brings joy to her heart and tears to her eyes.
  • Demolition Delay

    Demolition Delay

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:29 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:29:10 GMT
    The old Billings Public Library still stands after original plans to demolish the building hit a road block .Assistant

    Director of the Billings Public Library, Dee Ann Redman, said most of the issues regarding the old buildings demolition are asbestos related.

    The old Billings Public Library still stands after original plans to demolish the building hit a road block .Assistant

    Director of the Billings Public Library, Dee Ann Redman, said most of the issues regarding the old buildings demolition are asbestos related.

  • Lodge Grass Basin Fire

    Lodge Grass Basin Fire

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:50:07 GMT
    The BIA Crow Agency fire and aviation crews close public access to the Reservation's Big Horn Mountains because of the Lodge Grass Basin fire.
    The BIA Crow Agency fire and aviation crews close public access to the Reservation's Big Horn Mountains because of the Lodge Grass Basin fire.