2 charged in connection with Missoula murder, stabbing - KXLF.com | Continuous News | Butte, Montana

2 charged in connection with Missoula murder, stabbing

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A woman was found dead in a motel room on Monday afternoon (MTN News photo) A woman was found dead in a motel room on Monday afternoon (MTN News photo)

The Missoula County Attorney’s Office has filed criminal charges against two people involved in a stabbing and murder in Montana earlier this week.

Scott Austin Price and Sarah Rae McKnight both face five felony counts: Conspiracy to commit Aggravated Kidnapping, Attempted Deliberate Homicide, Deliberate Homicide, Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence, and Solicitation to commit Theft.

According to documents filed by Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst and Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks, a female victim was in the Fresh Market parking lot on South Reserve Street on Monday when she spotted Price on the way back to her car. When she got into her car, Price was standing at the door, and began stabbing her in the stomach with a knife. Price then drove off in his dark colored Honda.

Another woman came to help the victim, and took a picture of Price’s vehicle. The victim was taken to Community Medical Center and survived her injuries. Police later recovered a fixed blade Buck knife at the scene of the stabbing.

That same day, Lonette Keehner was working as a housekeeper at the Super 8 Motel near the Missoula Fresh Market. At around 12:50 p.m., police were called to the hotel, where they found Keehner’s body face down in one of the rooms. Witnesses at the scene were able to identify McKnight from her picture in a photo lineup.

Officers found a dark colored Honda behind the Super 8 Hotel. The registration tag had recently been removed. The VIN number for the vehicle linked the car to McKnight, who had an outstanding warrant for her arrest and was a suspect in a Washington robbery. Officers also discovered that Keehner’s 2009 Chevrolet Malibu was missing from the parking lot.

That car was recovered in Idaho, and law enforcement spoke with a woman who admitted to driving both McKnight and Price from the place they left Keehner’s car to a motel in Coeur D’Alene. Law enforcement officers arrested Price and McKnight at the motel and also recovered the Super 8 passkey that matched the one taken from Keehner - as well as numerous knives and bloody clothing.

U.S. Marshals had earlier identified Price as their suspect in the slaying of a Miles City man and the brutal beating of his wife 10- ays ago. 

Missoula Police detectives interviewed McKnight, who said she met Price in Great Falls the previous week, when she was appearing in federal court. It was her understanding that Price was on the run after committing a murder in Miles City, according to court papers. McKnight told detectives that her husband knew Price, and according to social media, they all claimed to be white supremacists. She also told detectives her and Price started regularly using methamphetamine.

Court papers state that McKnight told detectives she and Price had planned to rob someone in Missoula and targeted the first victim. She admitted that they then drove to the Super 8, assaulted Keehner, stole her belongings, hotel passkey, and car keys. Price forced Keehner into another room. According to McKnight, Price ran out of the motel room, got in the car, and told McKnight about the murder. As they were driving through town, McKnight says Price threw the knife out the window.

During his interview with police, Price confessed to the murder, and attributed his actions to meth use, court papers state.

On Wednesday, police recovered what they believe is the knife used during the attack. It was found outside a home on Stephens Avenue near Mount. 

We will have more information on this developing story as it becomes available.

Click here to read the court document of Scott Price. (pdf)

Click here to read the court document of Sarah McKnight. (pdf)

RELATED: Charges expected in connection with Missoula murder & stabbing, knife found

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