Weeklong homicide trial highlights Missoula’s transient community

Posting will probably be light on Cops and Courts this week, as I’m following the deliberate homicide trial of Raymond Big Beaver (in photo). He and a fellow transient, Eugene “Joey” Gonzalez, are accused of killing a third resident of Missoula’s streets, Johnny Joe Belmarez.

There were some interesting twists in the first day of testimony yesterday:

The trial of Raymond Big Beaver in the back-alley beatdown that allegedly killed fellow transient Johnny Joe Belmarez opened Monday with testimony about a confession in the homicide case.

“I did it. You might as well take me to jail,” a Missoula police officer testified a man told him the night of April 12, 2010.

But that man was Eugene “Joey” Gonzalez, Big Beaver’s co-defendant in the case, whose own trial is scheduled for November.

Each man faces a deliberate homicide charge in Belmarez’s death – which at first wasn’t even classified as a homicide.

“There are no smoking guns,” public defender Chris Abbott told the six-woman, six-man jury in his opening remarks. “There are no certainties.”

Stay tuned for updates.

Gwen Florio

(Image: Missoulian/Tom Bauer)

One thought on “Weeklong homicide trial highlights Missoula’s transient community”

  1. i saw it from behind the oxford when it happened and it was joey who did the kicking and such of johnny. there were several others around when it happened and the cops should have video from the oxford cameras to verify what joey is saying. big beaver was an accomplice in this as they bother killed johnny not just joey or raymond but both of them did so therefore they should both be punished according to the law

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