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Suspect charged with homicide for Billings crime spree

Car Crash
Posted at 11:21 AM, Jan 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-15 13:21:27-05

Authorities have identified the man accused of killing one man and shooting another before holing up in a home in a seven-hour standoff with police in a January 8 midtown Billings crime spree.

Thomas John Slevira, 32 years old, was charged Friday with one count of deliberate homicide and one count of attempted homicide. He has not appeared in Yellowstone County District Court.

Yellowstone County prosecutors alleged in court documents that Slevira shot and killed Carlos Delao, 45, while he was sitting in his own vehicle at 1205 Avenue F.

Slevira then stole the vehicle, a Chevy Tahoe, and crashed into a power pole and other vehicles a few blocks away at Big B Bingo on 12th Street West. Surveillance video showed he fled the vehicle and allegedly broke into the back door of a home at 1207 Burlington Ave., according to court documents.

Officers found syringes and guns in the Tahoe at the crash scene.

Prosecutors stated that about 25 people were in the house for a children's birthday party when Slevira broke in and promptly fell down the stairs by the door.

At least a dozen children were in the residence. Four men went downstairs to check on the commotion and confronted Slevira.

One man told police that Slevira cycled a round in his gun and pointed it at the group. He allegedly shot one man, identified by family members as 41-year-old Erik Brady, in the chest, and the men fled the basement, according to prosecutors. Brady survived and was taken to a hospital.

One of the men got a gun and stood at the top of the stairs to keep Slevira downstairs while the rest cleared the house.

When police arrived, Slevira fired multiple rounds out the front of the house as the occupants were fleeing.

Police negotiators eventually got Slevira to agree to come out of the basement, but he resisted and had to be forcibly removed by police from the home, according to court documents.

He was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare for treatment of wounds. On Tuesday, January 10, police were called to the hospital after Slevira tried to escape and was stopped by a probation officer. He tried to grab the officer's gun and was tased, according to court documents.