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Family of homicide suspect in botched bail jumping arrest protest outside court, claiming self-defense

Posted at 6:38 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 12:25:38-05

BUTTE — A group of protesters in Butte claim it was self-defense and not a homicide when a bondsman attempted to arrest an alleged bond jumper, resulting in the shooting death of a Butte man in 2021.

“Everybody that knows how the situation went down, knows that Nick was not—that it was self-defense. It was self-defense in the defense of others,” said John Jaeger, the father of Nicholas Jaeger.

Family and friends of Nicholas Jaeger held a protest outside the Butte Courthouse, claiming prosecutors overstepped when they charged him in the shooting death of William Harris, III on Dec. 19, 2021. Jaeger and Butte bondsman Jay Hubber face deliberate homicide and aggravated burglary charges in connection with the death.

“We’re truly sorry this took place like this, but it should have never went down like this anyway,” said John Jaeger.

What went down is Hubber had Nicholas Jaeger assist him in apprehending a man wanted for jumping bond. The pair is accused of entering Harris’ home on Main Street without permission and ended up struggling with the wanted man.

During the chaos, Jaeger is accused of fatally shooting Harris with Hubber’s gun. Harris was the homeowner and not wanted by the bondsman.

Nicholas Jaeger’s father claims Hubber called 911 twice before entering the home to get police assistance but never received any help.

“They should have been assisted by the Butte police, it would have changed the whole dynamics of this whole thing,” said John Jaeger.

Butte Sheriff Ed Lester would not comment on the claim the bondsman called 911 before entering the home since it’s a pending criminal matter in Butte District Court.

The father believes his son wouldn’t have reacted violently if police had been there as backup.

“He’s a mellow dude. I mean, he’d have never did that if his life had been threatened, never,” said John Jaeger.

Other protestors were there in support of self-defense.

“If Nick is found guilty of murder, who is going to come to the aid of other people if you end up in prison?” said protestor Daniel Meeks.

The joint trial of Nicholas Jaeger and Hubber is scheduled for March 4.