BILLINGS - A man accused of a Jan. 8 crime spree in Billings that left one man dead, another man seriously injured and numerous vehicles damaged or destroyed was arraigned Friday in Yellowstone County District Court.
Thomas John Slevira Jr., 32, appeared in court by video from the Yellowstone County jail and pleaded not guilty to one count each of deliberate homicide and attempted deliberate homicide and three counts of assault with a weapon. His bond was set at $1 million.
Slevira was arrested following a seven-hour standoff with police at the end of a crime spree that began when Carlos Delao, 45, was shot while sitting in his vehicle at 1205 Avenue F. The gunman shot Delao in the head and then pulled the man's body out of the vehicle and drove off.
A short distance away the stolen vehicle slammed into a power pole and several other vehicles outside Big B Bingo on 12th Street West. The driver fled the crash scene and ran to the back door of a residence at 1207 Burlington Ave., according to court records.
Inside the home were about 25 people celebrating a child's birthday when Slevira allegedly broke in and promptly fell down the stairs by the door.
One man told police that Slevira cycled a round in his gun and pointed it at the group. He allegedly shot one man, identified by family members as 41-year-old Erik Brady , in the chest, and the men fled the basement, according to prosecutors. Brady survived and was taken to a hospital.
One of the men got a gun and stood at the top of the stairs to keep Slevira downstairs while the rest cleared the house.
When police arrived, Slevira fired multiple rounds out the front of the house as the occupants were fleeing.
Police negotiators eventually got Slevira to agree to come out of the basement, but he resisted and had to be forcibly removed by police from the home, according to court documents.
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