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The accused killer of a Red Lodge man intends to withdraw his guilty plea.

Thomas Joseph Schifferns, 33, has been granted an extension to file a motion to withdraw his guilty plea in the case of James McGregor's shooting death.

McGregor, a 63-year-old Red Lodge resident, was found dead near Highway 212 south of Red Lodge on Feb. 19, 2018. He had been shot to death and a police investigation determined Schifferns to be his killer.

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Schifferns pleaded guilty in late March. Carbon County Attorney Alex Nixon had said he would drop charges of theft, robbery and evidence tampering. Both he and Schifferns' attorney had intended to recommend life in prison at a May 6 sentencing. 

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Charging documents described how McGregor had stayed with Schifferns and Schifferns' common-law spouse. McGregor had disappeared before his death, and law enforcement found that a safe where he had stored cash had been emptied and left open, according to court documents. Those documents also describe a confession Schifferns allegedly made to an ex-girlfriend who he had asked for help in escaping to Texas or Mexico after shooting a person in the head "because he was homeless and disrespectful." 

The extension to file the withdrawal motion was granted by Carbon County District Court Judge Matthew J. Wald. Wald has given Schifferns' attorney Gregory E. Paskell until 5 p.m. on May 17 to file the motion to withdraw plea with a legal brief in support. 

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