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Sister of man killed outside Billings Clinic speaks out about he - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Sister of man killed outside Billings Clinic speaks out about her brother

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Valery O'Connell Valery O'Connell
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BILLINGS -- The sister of a Billings man who was killed outside Billings Clinic on Friday said in a press conference Tuesday that her brother was killed in cold blood.

John Barry Marshall, 48, was wanted on a felony warrant when he was spotted outside the hospital.

According to a press release issued Monday by Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder and Billings Police Chief Rich St. John, Marshall was shot by six officers after police say Marshall fled and tripped over a curb, causing him to discharge a firearm.

Marshall's sister Valery O'Connell, made an emotional plea at the Yellowstone County Courthouse Tuesday, denying nearly every detail released by police.

O'Connell denied that her brother had what authorities called a "lengthy criminal history," and she denied Marshall ever had a gun on him. O'Connell adamantly denies law enforcement officers had just cause to use deadly force.

"I want his nine-year-old children to know the truth, that there is much more to the story than what Chief Rich St. John has reported and that John did not have a gun," said O'Connell.

She also said, while she does not blame police, lately she believes they have become "trigger happy."

But O'Connell, who lives two hours away in Emigrant, may not have all the details.

The Montana Attorney General Director of Communications John Barnes said in an email on Tuesday that investigators did recover a gun from the scene that is believed to have been in Marshall's possession when he was killed.

Marshall was wanted for a January 7 felony burglary charge as well as a January 9 felony possession of methamphetamine charge.

Charging documents state that the burglary occurred in November when Marshall allegedly broke into his ex-wife's home and stole her belongings. The documents state that Marshall left live 9 mm rounds at the home.

O'Connell said that the burglary charge is simply an attempt from Marshall's ex-wife to have him put in jail so she can have full custody of their children.

Marshall's ex-wife also filed for and was granted a restraining order against him, which ordered him to stay away from her and their nine-year-old twin daughters.

Marshall was also ordered to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, but court documents show he cut it off in mid-January.

Barnes said the bracelet violation led to Friday's incident.

Marshall's sister said the family will pursue a federal grand jury investigation.

A coroner's inquest will also take place.


(January 31, 2015) John Barry Marshall, 48 of Billings, has been identified as the man shot and killed by Billings Law Enforcement Officers outside of Billings Clinic Friday.

Yellowstone County Deputy Coroner Cliff Mahoney identified the man Saturday.

Marshall died Friday after authorities said he was spotted by officers outside Billings Clinic.

During a press conference Friday night, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said the U.S. Marshal Task Force, which is made up of police, county deputies, and US Marshals, followed a wanted violent offender into the hospital.

Six officers attempted to apprehend the suspect.

The man tried to run and officers said he appeared to be trying to pull something out of the waistband of his pants.

Marshall fell and as he fell a gun discharged, hit the clinic, and went through a window.

As he was on the ground, he made attempts to clear the gun.

That's when the task force moved in and all six officers fired at the man, St. John said.

On Saturday, a woman identifying herself as Marshall's sister sent an email to MTN News disputing reports that he was a violent offender.

"My brother, John Marshall was shot and killed yesterday at Billings Clinic," wrote Val O'Connell in the email. "He was never convicted of any crime or anything else ever, thus he did not have a so-called `lengthy criminal history.'"

O'Connell wrote that she would be holding a press conference Tuesday to "announce my brother's name and the weird events leading up to his death."
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