NewsCrime and Courts


Accused Billings killer pleads not guilty, bond set at $1M

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Lorenzo Harris
Posted at 1:51 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 15:54:08-04

Lorenzo Harris, a Billings man who allegedly shot and killed another man at a house party on the Billings South Side in late December and then fled to Chicago, pleaded not guilty in Yellowstone County District Court on Tuesday.

Harris, 28 years old, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence in connection with the December 27 murder of 30-year-old James Williams.

Court documents state Harris, also known as “Zo,” and Williams were both at Shooters Bar earlier in the night, and Harris was apparently “mean mugging” Williams, court records state. "Mean-mugging" is the act of glowering at someone with an intimidating, irritated, or judgmental facial expression, according to one definition.

After the bars closed, court documents state a woman who was with Williams was asked to go to a house party at the suspect’s mother’s house at 2808 3rd Ave. S.

Not long after arriving, witnesses say Harris and Williams got into a fight and Harris shot Williams.

Court documents state after he was shot Williams stumbled to the ground and people at the party fled the scene, including Harris, who witnesses say first removed his white “puffy” coat covered in blood.

When interviewed by detectives, Harris’ brother, Carvell Scott, 34, admitted to having the party at his mother’s house, but that several “uninvited guests came to their house and fights began to break out.”

Further investigation revealed just two days before the murder Harris posted a video on Facebook holding a Beretta PX4 Storm firearm.

Detectives also viewed surveillance video from the night of the shooting showing Harris in a white “puffy coat.”

Authorities located Harris in Chicago in January, and he was brought back to Montana.

Court documents also show three images of Harris during a video call from the jail, holding up a sign with the following instructions: “Tell Vell get more than 4 ppl to say I wasn’t here at that time. Everybody knew I was on the road back to Chicago wit Alyssa and the kids by 12am.”

Harris also has two felony convictions out of Illinois for Robbery and Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking.

The judge set Harris’ bond at $1 million Tuesday.