Verdict: St. Dennis guilty of deliberate homicide

HAVRE – A Hill County jury deliberated for two hours Friday before returning a guilty verdict in the deliberate homicide trial of Anthony Roy St. Dennis.
St. Dennis, 19, will be sentenced March 5 for the beating death of Forrest Clayton Salcido, a 56-year-old homeless Navy veteran who lived most of his life in Missoula.
Jurors heard closing arguments Friday morning as attorneys concluded a week’s worth of testimony and evidence. Disturbing crime scene photographs and portions of a taped jailhouse confession highlighted the evidence as jurors began their deliberations.
Salcido’s battered body was discovered the morning of Dec. 6, 2007, near the California Street footbridge in Missoula. A co-defendant in the case, 21-year-old Dustin Strahan, also is charged with homicide and is scheduled to stand trial in March.
In his closing remarks, Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg urged jurors to use common sense when deciding the verdict, and told them that the recorded telephone conversation between St. Dennis and a friend served as a damning confession.
“The statements of Anthony St. Dennis in the phone call that he made … after he got arrested … confirm Anthony St. Dennis’ role in this killing,” Van Valkenburg said.
Van Valkenburg also asked the jury to consider eyewitness testimony from Strahan, who appeared in the courtroom Wednesday and placed the blame squarely on St. Dennis.
“First and foremost you have an eyewitness to this killing. Dustin Strahan saw this happen,” Van Valkenburg said.
But Public Defender Chris Daly said the events that led to Salcido’s death were not so clear-cut, and dismissed the veracity of the “so-called jailhouse confession,” recorded when St. Dennis made a call from jail to his then-girlfriend, Jackie Adams. St. Dennis affected an air of confidence because he was scared and needed to act “macho,” Daly said.
“Things are not always what they seem. This is not a jailhouse confession. It is the ramblings of a scared teen,” Daly said.
Daly asked the jury to acquit his client of all criminal offenses or, in the alternative, to consider the lesser-included offenses of negligent homicide, aggravated assault and accountability for deliberate homicide.
Van Valkenburg said he hoped that jurors would find St. Dennis guilty of deliberate homicide.
“I suggest to you that in this case the right thing to do is to hold Anthony St. Dennis accountable for what he did, which is the deliberate homicide of Forrest Salcido,” Van Valkenburg said before concluding his remarks.
St. Dennis stood as the court clerk read the verdict and did not react visibly, though two family members seated in the front row wiped tears from their eyes.
Tim Salcido, the victim’s younger brother, was surprised by the brevity of jurors’ deliberations, but said he was pleased to have the lengthy trial behind him.

6 thoughts on “Verdict: St. Dennis guilty of deliberate homicide”

  1. free my family all you cops hate our last name st.dennis anthoney was with me that night dustins always wonted to hurt someone he told me that when i was eleven at my auntie house anthoneys grandma dustin and anthoney never hung out after dustins mom made dustin get a restraining order because dustin was drunk and started punching me so anthoney threw him out ill even testify to that on the stand just reply to this at myspace

  2. so in reality dustins mom was the one who basicly killed salcedo for supplying the liquor forrest was my friend i use to give him mcchicken from mcy ds everytime i seen him anthoney is not a bad kid he always helped everybody in need out

  3. Thanks for the comment. She actually admitted as much when she testified at the trial of Anthony St. Dennis. Maybe she thought they were going to use a handle of vodka to cure frogs for a science project?

  4. cure frogs are you serious sounds like you guys or who ever you are are just tryin to pin it to my family why does everybody in the law in montana hate the new st.dennises because of our fathers like dusty st.dennis and wayne and paul were not anything like them

  5. i Think Jager Is Right. Free My Family . Cops Just Hate Are Last Name . They Dont Understand Thats Some Of Are Family NOT ALL!!!!!

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