BOZEMAN — An attorney for a man charged with killing his estranged wife and critically injuring one of her housemates told jurors that the man's children lied to investigators about their father's involvement, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
Joseph "Paul" DeWise, 47, is charged with deliberate homicide in the January 2018 shooting death of Lauren Walder DeWise, 35, and attempted deliberate homicide for allegedly shooting Ashley Van Hemert, then 32. DeWise's trial is expected to last 10 days.
DeWise's son told investigators that he went with his father to the house in the town of Belgrade, near Bozeman, where the shootings happened and DeWise's daughter told officers her father called her the next day and confessed to killing Lauren DeWise, court records said.
Defense attorney Annie DeWolf claimed the children's stories were "made up after they had talked to their mother," DeWise's ex-wife.
Phone records show DeWise called his 17-year-old daughter from jail a day after his arrest and told her that her brother must have shot the women and her brother needed to confess so DeWise could get out of jail, court records said. That phone call resulted in a witness tampering charge.
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Gallatin County prosecutor Jordan Salo said Lauren DeWise's alleged infidelity was the motive for the shooting.
Friends and co-workers of Lauren DeWise told investigators her husband had been physically abusive so she moved out and was seeking a divorce. Another housemate told investigators Paul and Lauren DeWise were scheduled to meet on Jan. 7, 2018 to discuss the divorce. Her body was found that morning.
Belgrade Police Officer Jarrod Robinson, who was the first officer at the house, testified Monday and jurors watched his body camera video. Testimony continued Tuesday.
Van Hemert is also scheduled to testify, prosecutors said.