Tag Archives: Raymond Big Beaver

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)