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Police: No charges filed as detectives piece together Billings double homicide

Posted at 1:40 PM, Jan 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-30 15:40:19-05

BILLINGS - Billings police said Friday they are continuing to piece together what happened in a double homicide in a vehicle on Billings South Side early Thursday morning, but no charges have been filed.

A third man in the vehicle, who remains in the hospital with neck injuries, had no known association with the two men found shot to death, who were identified as Joshua D. LaForge, 34, and Dante J. Bezpaletz, 30, both of Billings, according to a news release from Billings Police Lt. Brandon Wooley.

The third man, who is still unidentified, owned the vehicle that was found crashed into a tree on the 300 block of South 37th Street, according to Wooley.

Wooley said in the news release that detectives are investigating several possible crimes related to the incident, including robbery, aggravated kidnapping, attempted homicide, and homicide.

Police do not believe any other individuals are involved in the incident. Detectives are continuing to investigate, "verify and corroborate sequences of events regarding this incident," Wooley wrote.

Questions remain as to what led up to the incident, including who police believe was the aggressor, and who they're investigating for possible charges.

Bezpaletz had recently walked away from the Alpha House Pre-Release Center and had been convicted of felony theft in Yellowstone County in 2014. LaForge had two felony assault convictions in 2017.

Billings police will not release any more information on the incident, according to Wooley, meaning it's likely additional updates would come from Yellowstone County prosecutors.