BILLINGS — A transient man allegedly shot a woman in the chest early Wednesday morning on Billings South Side after she refused pay him $200 he said she owed him, prosecutors said Friday in court documents.
Marlin Parker was arrested the next day after his mother, Marlena Sunshine Bigday, led police on a high-speed chase through Billings Heights, stopping only after her vehicle was struck by a pursuing Billings police car. Billings police have said he's 24 years old, but his age is 34 in court documents.
Parker and Bigday made their first appearances in Yellowstone County Justice Court Friday. Parker faces up at least 10 years and up to life in prison on three felony charges, including attempted deliberate homicide. Bigday was charged with two felonies, criminal endangerment and obstructing justice, and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of both counts.
The incident began when police were called to the 900 block of South 29th Street to a report of gunshots fired at a vehicle and a wounded patient at Billings Clinic. Police found shell casings and an air gun at the scene.
Witnesses said two vehicles were involved. Shots were fired from a Mercedes at a green truck, according to court documents.
The victim's family members told police she had identified Parker as the man who shot her. She said she caught a ride with a man in a truck when another vehicle, driven by Parker, cut them off, according to court documents.
Her driver fled, and the victim said Parker grabbed her through a window and demanded his money. The victim told police she owed him $200.
She then heard a shot but was uncertain if it was fired by Parker or another man in his vehicle.
The next morning, around 8 a.m. Thursday, Montana Highway Patrol trooper reported a pursuit with the Mercedes, believed to have been driven by Parker, prosecutors said. Troopers called off the chase.
An hour later, another law-enforcement officer found a Cadillac Escalade, registered to Bigday, at a home of Parker's friend. The vehicle left, the officer tried to pull it over, but it continued into the Heights.
The Escalade headed south onto Main Street, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. At the intersection of Sixth Avenue North and North 13th Street, she swerved into traffic and nearly caused several collisions. At that point, an officer hit her vehicle and stopped her.
BigDay told police she fled because she didn't want her son to be shot by police, and Parker told her not to stop. Police found suspected meth and marijuana in the vehicle where Parker was sitting.
Parker told police he shot the victim in self-defense, according to court documents, adding that he believed she was reaching for a gun. The victim said she never had a weapon.
Bigday was given a medical release and transported to a local hospital.
Parker is being held in Yellowstone County jail on a $500,000 bail.