Montana News

Jul 5, 2013 6:19 PM by MTN News - Billings

Inmate who escaped from Montana State Prison killed in Billings

BILLINGS - The Montana Department of Corrections has confirmed that the man killed in the shooting on the Billings west end on Friday was escaped inmate Dean Randolph Jess.

Jess escaped from the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge on Monday.

The shooting happened shortly before 1 p.m. off of King Avenue near Office Max.

According to Billings Police Chief Rich St. John, a Yellowstone County Sheriff's Deputy was involved in the shooting.

According to a witness, the incident began to unfold when a sheriff's deputy pulled in front of a Jeep Rubicon to block it from going through the intersection.

At that point, the witness said, more officers arrived and attempted to remove Jess from the vehicle by breaking the car windows, but were unsuccessful.

Throughout the altercation, law enforcement officers kept telling Jess to put his gun down.

Jess refused and pointed the gun at an officer, and a sheriff's deputy then shot Jess through the glass window.

Witnesses report hearing as many as a dozen gunshots during the ordeal.

Jess, 42, escaped on Monday while on a service call for Motor Vehicle Maintenance.

The vehicle Jess was traveling in was found abandoned on the southern perimeter of the prison ranch.

Jess was sentenced in September 2005 in Park County for incest and failure to register as a sexual or violent offender.

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