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Defense: Witness in Montana murder case was under indictment

Associated Press

BILLINGS – A psychologist who was the sole defense witness during a Montana man’s first-degree murder trial was indicted on drug charges days before she testified.

Attorneys for 20-year-old defendant Dimarzio Swade Sanchez said they were unaware of the indictment and their client could have been acquitted if another expert testified.

Sanchez has until Jan. 5 to ask for a new trial.

He was convicted of strangling and burning 28-year-old Roylynn Rides Horse on the Crow Indian Reservation. Rides Horse died more than two months later.

Psychologist Teresa Hastings of Rapid City, South Dakota, testified Dec. 6 at Sanchez’s trial about his mental ability to form the intent to kill Rides Horse – a key factor in determining his guilt.

She’d been indicted Nov. 29 for illegally obtaining the sedative zolpidem, which is marketed to treat insomnia.

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