BOZEMAN – The man accused of shooting and killing his estranged wife and severely wounding another woman in Belgrade reportedly told one of his children in a recorded jailhouse phone call that his son should admit to the shootings.
Joseph Paul DeWise, 47, faces a new felony charge of witness tampering after violating a court order not to contact witnesses or family members.
DeWise is currently incarcerated at the Gallatin County jail on a deliberate homicide charge for the death of his wife, Lauren Walder DeWise.
According to charging documents, DeWise reportedly made two calls to a phone number that belonged to his daughter. The first call was on Feb. 6, 2018 at approximately 9:23 p.m. There was no conversation as the call ended immediately after an advisory that the call was subject to recording and monitoring.
A second call was allegedly made to the girl on Feb. 7, 2018 at approximately 6:40 a.m. That call began after the advisory that the call was subject to recording and lasted 12 minutes and 31 seconds.
According to transcripts, during the conversation DeWise told his 17-year-old daughter (identified in documents as ND) that he knew wasn’t allowed to talk to her. He also told her that his 15-year-old son (identified in documents as JD) “said that I took him with me and I’m responsible for what happened. So, that means to me that, um, JD must have done it.”
DeWise then told the girl: “…it’s real important that he admit it because if he admits it then I get the f*** out of here. Understand?”
Later in the conversation, DeWise tells the girl: “(JD’s) 15 and he, it’s, it, he’s scared. I understand but he needs to know something. The jails here, they’re safe, they’re nice. The food’s good and they don’t have the rape problem. It’s against the law to even have sex here. So he doesn’t have to worry about that s***.”
DeWise also reportedly told the girl that JD would “probably be in until he’s like 21 or something. And he’ll be able to finish his school….”
DeWise is scheduled to make an appearance in Gallatin County District Court at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2018.
As part of the court orders after DeWise’s Feb. 6, 2018 district court appearance when he entered “not guilty” pleas to deliberate homicide and attempted deliberate homicide, his bond was set at $1 million and ordered not contact in any way the alleged victim or witnesses of the incident.
Lauren Walder DeWise was killed Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 in a shooting on Idaho Street in Belgrade.
Another roommate, Ashley Van Hemert, was also shot and is currently recovering from her wounds.
DeWise had his three children in the vehicle with him when he was arrested on Jan. 11, 2018; Lauren is the mother of the youngest, a 4-year-old. Dewise informed officers he had firearms in the vehicle.