Joseph Paul Dewise was arrested Thursday afternoon on a charge of deliberate homicide. Belgrade Police Chief E.J. Clark stated in a press release Dewise is being held on $1 million bail.
Dewise is the estranged husband of Lauren Walder Dewise, who was killed Sunday in a shooting on Idaho Street in Belgrade.
According to charging documents, a woman who resided with Lauren Dewise at the Idaho Street residence reported on Sunday that Lauren was fatally injured, and another roommate, Ashley Van Hemert, was injured and asking for help.
Belgrade Police officers along with Gallatin County Sheriff deputies arrived to find the rear entrance to the home damaged. The woman who reported the incident told officers she immediately suspected Joseph Paul Dewise.
Emergency responders confirmed that Lauren Dewise was dead and transported Van Hemert to receive emergency medical attention.
The third roommate was taken to Belgrade Police Department, where she told officers Lauren had recently ended an abusive relationship with Joseph Paul Dewise.
Based on the roommate’s interview, officers began looking for Dewise and initiated a traffic stop when they located him driving near his residence around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. He had his three children in the vehicle with him; Lauren is the mother of the youngest, a 4-year-old. Dewise informed officers he had firearms in the vehicle.
Dewise was detained and taken to the Gallatin County Justice Center. He waived his rights and allegedly denied any involvement in Lauren’s death during his interview. He claimed he spent the night before with his children, then took his family to church at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. Dewise also told officers he owned multiple firearms, including a .22 long rifle, .22 magnum, and other calibers.
Multiple interviews with friends and co-workers of Lauren painted the picture of an abusive history between her and Dewise, with him making repeated attempts to contact her after she left the relationship.
Based on interviews, data from Dewise’s cell phone, and evidence from the crime scene, authorities determined there was sufficient probable cause to arrest and charge Joseph Paul Dewise with deliberate homicide.
Domestic violence support service HAVEN issued a statement about the alleged homicide Thursday evening:
"A banking center manager at Rocky Mountain Bank in Bozeman, Lauren was a kindhearted, caring friend and mother. She was driven in her career and always pushed herself to be better in everything she did. We are particularly devastated for Lauren’s three-year-old daughter. No child should ever have to experience the loss of their mother through such tragedy or endure the suffering caused by violence in the home," the group stated.
See also: Victim in Belgrade shooting identified