NewsCrime and Courts


Suspect arraigned on murder charge for Billings road-rage shooting

Jacob Troxel in court (November 29, 2023)
Suspect arraigned on murder charge for road-rage shooting
Posted at 2:12 PM, Nov 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-29 19:31:26-05

BILLINGS — Jacob Dylan Troxel of Billings, who claims he shot another man to death in self-defense during a road-rage incident was arraigned Wednesday in Yellowstone County District Court.

Troxel, 31 years old, pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide (with weapons enhancement) for the shooting death of 29-year-old Michael Duran.

The charge against Troxel follows a two-day Coroner's Inquest in October where the jury determined Troxel should be charged with homicide despite his claim he was acting in self-defense. Prosecutors then filed the criminal charge on November 15, and Troxel was issued a summons to appear for arraignment.

According to charging documents filed by Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito, Troxel told police that he first stopped his vehicle at the intersection because he and his girlfriend, who was a passenger, thought Duran was following him, and he planned to ask why. He told police Duran struck him several times before he fired his gun, although surveillance video did not back up that claim.

Homicide charge against suspect in road-rage shooting

The video showed Troxel and his girlfriend stopping at the intersection in his Toyota Camry, then getting out of his vehicle to confront Duran in his Subaru. Duran eventually got out of his vehicle, and video showed Troxel hitting him several times outside, Twito wrote in charging documents.

The two continued to spar, with Troxel at one point swinging an orange traffic cone at Duran, according to court documents. Troxel eventually got back in his car, and Duran headed back to his, but he stopped and approached Troxel's vehicle and punched toward him in the vehicle. That's when the video shows an item pulled from the back seat, and Duran falls backward after he was shot.

Duran died at a Billings hospital shortly after the shooting. Authorities said Troxel has been cooperative with police investigators and prosecutors since the incident.

Troxel was allowed to remain free on his own recognizance pending the resolution of the case following an agreement between the Yellowstone County Attorney's Office and Troxel's public defenders. He was ordered to not possess any firearms and to check in twice a month with authorities.