Crime Watch

May 13, 2014 1:44 PM by Victoria Fregoso - Q2 News

Billings man arrested in connection to South Side shooting

BILLINGS - A Billings man has been charged in connection to a shooting on Billings South Side.

Danny Jo Lira, 37, appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Lira is charged with felony aggravated burglary by accountability and one misdemeanor charge of obstructing a peace officer.

Lira is being held at the Yellowstone County jail on a $50,000 bond.

Court documents state Lira drove Christopher James Michelotti, 29, to a home on the 3000 block of Eight Avenue South on Sunday night.

Prosecutors state both men showed up uninvited and forced their way into the home after a resident, identified as "V.R." answered the door.

V.R.'s girlfriend "S.D." told detectives that she saw Michelotti pull out a black semi-automatic handgun.

S.D. said she grabbed her 5-month-old child and went into the basement where "A.R" and "C.R." were asleep. She woke them up and told them there was a man in the house with a gun, documents state.

C.R. called police and about one minute later, V.R. came down the stairs into the basement, documents state.

As Michelotti made his way down the stairs, A.R. said he shot at the suspect one time and observed him turn and fall down. He stated Michelotti shot back at him three times.

"A.R. stated he thought the suspect was going to come downstairs and shoot them if he didn't do something about it," court document state.

C.R. told detectives they kicked out a basement window and the police were waiting for them outside.

Court documents state Lira said he was standing in the living room when he heard three gun shots then Michelotti staggered into the living room.

Michelotti told Lira that V.R. shot him for no reason. Lira told officers that he never saw Michelotti with a gun at any point in the night.

Lira was taken to the Yellowstone County jail on one count of aggravated burglary and Michellotti was taken to a Billings hospital and treated for his injuries.

V.R. told officers he went to Lira's house earlier that day and stopped by because he had not seen Lira in a long time.

Documents state V.R. saw Michelotti at the home acting "strange" and hiding behind the door holding a black gun. V.R. said it appeared Michelotti was under the influence of methamphetamine.

V.R. left the home because he felt uncomfortable, documents state.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Michelotti was still at the hospital and he has not been charged.

The investigation is ongoing to determine if there will be any more arrests in the case.

Lira is scheduled to appear for arraignment on May 23.


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