BILLINGS, Mont. – Police tracking down a suspected killer came across a telling piece of evidence that led to an arrest: A cellphone, logged into a man's Facebook account, with a news photo of the crime scene as the background screen.
Jonathan Michael Martinez, 28, was arrested Tuesday at his mother's home in Hardin, and charged with shooting and killing another man on Oct. 2 after witnesses reported he was responsible and officers found the phone.
He made an initial appearance in Justice Court on Wednesday on one count of deliberate homicide, the Big Horn County attorney's office said. Martinez did not enter a plea and had not been appointed an attorney. He was to be returned to Billings to face the homicide charge for the death of David Leroy Vallie, 36, who died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
District Court Judge Mary Jane Knisley set Martinez's bond at $250,000.
Charging documents say prosecutors have the murder weapon, witness statements and surveillance video evidence to support their allegations, The Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/14MVTxW ) reported.
In 2007, Martinez was sentenced to eight years in prison for several charges, including felony assault with a weapon, for shooting at two people at a Billings convenience store. A woman was shot in the leg.
Martinez's sentence for the previous felony convictions expired earlier this year.
Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com