Opening Arguments Begin in Methamphetamine-Fueled Slaying Trial of Brandon Beckman

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The courtroom was filled with anticipation as opening arguments were presented on Tuesday in the trial of Brandon Michael Beckman, a man accused of the methamphetamine- and money-fueled slaying of Michael Anthony Biggs in January 2022. The gravity of the charges against Beckman and his accomplice Robert John Harvel, both facing felony deliberate homicide, hung heavy in the air as each side implicated the other in the heinous crime.

Deputy Attorney Kathleen Jensen addressed the jurors, stating that Harvel, the driver of the car, had become acquainted with both Biggs and Beckman shortly before the fatal incident. She described Harvel as “no angel” but assured the jurors that he had not been promised anything for his testimony and that his own trial had yet to take place. Jensen outlined the prosecution’s alternative theories, arguing that Beckman either shot and killed Biggs, or that he was accountable for the death due to it happening during a robbery.

Painting a complex picture, the prosecution emphasized Biggs’ vulnerabilities. Having recently left the Great Falls Transition Center, Biggs was given a significant sum of money earned during his time at the pre-release center. Jensen revealed that Biggs had few family ties and was largely alone, relying on friends he had made within the criminal justice system. It was through an old high school girlfriend that Biggs was introduced to Beckman, and together they embarked on a reckless journey fueled by drugs and gambling.

According to the prosecution, the group quickly spent most of Biggs’ money. It was then that Beckman proposed a plan to purchase methamphetamine from a fictitious connection in Washington. The deal was set to take place at Moose Creek Campground, where the fateful events unfolded. Jensen claimed that, at the campground, Beckman cunningly asked Biggs to trade places with him and subsequently shot him at close range. Harvel, allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine, witnessed the shocking act.

Defense attorney Samuel L. Martin III countered the prosecution’s claims, asserting that despite the state’s significant amount of evidence, crucial pieces supporting their case were absent. Martin pointed out that the state could not conclusively determine who fired the fatal shot or when it occurred. He also suggested that both the old girlfriend and Harvel had communicated about the murder and sought assistance from others.

The discovery of Biggs’ frozen body by passersby on Rimini Road, approximately 4.5 miles off U.S. Highway 12 west of Helena, added a chilling dimension to the case. The prosecution alleged that Beckman and Harvel’s car got stuck in the snow at Moose Creek Campground after the killing, prompting a concerned citizen to call law enforcement. The descriptions provided by the caller matched Beckman and Harvel, who were later apprehended. However, a murder weapon and a large sum of money were never recovered.

As the trial unfolds under the watchful eye of District Court Judge Christopher Abbott, the true extent of Beckman’s involvement in the tragic slaying of Michael Biggs will be brought to light. With a week-long trial ahead, the prosecution and defense will vigorously present their arguments, leaving the jury to weigh the evidence and ultimately determine Beckman’s fate.

Ryan Scott
Author: Ryan Scott

Just a guy

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