NewsCrime and Courts


Chenault charged with negligent homicide for the death of a Whitefish man

Crime Watch 1280x720.png
Posted at 1:35 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 15:53:44-05

Xavier Chenault, accused in the death of a man outside of the VFW Bar & Grill in Whitefish in July, was booked into the Flathead County Detention Center on Sunday.

Chenault, 22 years old, is being charged with felony negligent homicide in the death of 25-year-old Steven Speer.

According to charging documents, police were called to the VFW Bar & Grill on July 30 where they found Speer unresponsive with a severe head injury.

People at the scene - including Chenault - indicated to officers that there had been no fight, and told officers that Speer was intoxicated and had fallen to the ground.

A Whitefish Police Department investigation - including security video and interviews with witnesses - found that Speer had been in an altercation with Chenault and that Speer had been knocked to the ground.

Speer was taken to a hospital on the night of the incident and died from his injuries on August 2.

An autopsy report from the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula indicated that Speer died as a result of blunt force injuries of the head.

The Whitefish Police Department worked with law enforcement officers in California to locate Chenault after he fled to that state following the incident.

Chenault faces up to 20 years in Montana State Prison and a maximum fine of $50,000 if found guilty on the charges. He is being held in the Flathead County Detention Center on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arranged in Flathead County District Court on January 21.