A Superior man recently convicted in Missoula of raping his developmentally disabled brother has allegedly admitted killing a hitchhiker on Homestake Pass about a year ago.
Tony Ray Notti, 48, was interviewed this week by a Missoula police detective after Notti recently was identified by Jefferson County authorities as the prime suspect in the murder of Richard Slawek.
The body of Slawek, 50, was found on the westbound on-ramp of Interstate 90 on May 20 in the early evening. He had been shot multiple times in the back and face with a small caliber weapon.
Jefferson County authorities told the Montana Standard on Thursday that Notti would be charged with Slawek's murder next week. Notti was interviewed in the Missoula County Detention Facility and admitted shooting Slawek, a source with knowledge of the investigation said.
Notti became a suspect after DNA found on cigarettes recovered from the shooting scene were matched with DNA from Notti's rape case, the source confirmed. Jefferson County officials could not be reached Friday evening.
Notti was convicted in February of raping his brother in May 2000, close to the time Slawek was killed. The trial revealed that Notti forced his brother, who is a year older, at knifepoint to perform oral sex on him.
Notti was to be sentenced in March, but his attorney is trying to get a new trial. The case is pending.
In an interview with the Standard, Steve Smith, Slawek's brother-in-law, voiced elation and relief at the news.
"That just sent my wife into tears," Smith, a Miami resident, said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon. "It was fantastic news … It's going to make a lot of people very happy and sad down here in Miami."
Richard Slawek was a West Point Military Academy graduate and Vietnam War veteran who spent his winters working for Smith's Miami construction firm and his summers hitchhiking across the Northwest, the Standard reported.