BILLINGS, Mont. (Lee) - A man released from prison last month pleaded not guilty in District Court Thursday in the stabbing death of his brother-in-law, a 53-year-old Billings resident.
Joel White, 47, was charged with deliberate homicide for stabbing Gary Temple in the chest and neck during an altercation at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday at 318 S. 31st St.
District Court Judge Susan Watters maintained White's bond at $750,000. A separate bond of $250,000 is also set for a probation violation in Rosebud County. He is being held in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility.
White, who has a long criminal history, was released Friday from a prison in Shelby and traveled to Billings by bus, authorities said. He has been convicted of voluntary manslaughter and numerous violent offenses in Montana.
The stabbing was the most recent altercation in a long history of fights between White and Temple.
Gary Temple died of multiple stab wounds while White, who also goes by the name Joel Seminole, left in a Dodge Durango with his sister, Diane Temple, who was driving. An officer stopped the Durango a few blocks away and arrested White.
Diane Temple, who was married to Gary Temple for six years, has not been charged in the incident. Her maiden name is Bull Coming, and she served 12 years in the Montana corrections system for her involvement in the robbery, kidnapping and murder of John Martin Etchemendy Jr. in 1987.
She was sentenced to 40 years after she pleaded guilty to robbery and testified against Vern and Lester Kills On Top - who are serving life sentences for the crimes.
During the 1988 trial, Bull Coming testified that Etchemendy, who was 23 at the time, accepted a ride from Vern Kills On Top after leaving a Miles City bar around 2 a.m., according to a 1990 Montana Supreme Court document.
The two brothers, Bull Coming and another woman drove south toward Broadus and the group stole cash, checks and credit cards from Etchemendy. The brothers beat Etchemendy alongside the highway, forced him to strip and put him in the trunk, according to the document.
The group continued through Broadus to Gillette, Wyo., and along the way Etchemendy could be heard through the back seat saying that he was married and he had two kids. The group stopped at a bar when they arrived in Gillette, Wyo., and decided they needed to kill Etchemendy and dispose of his body, according to the document.
Lester Kills On Top and Bull Coming drove out of town where Lester tortured and killed Etchemendy with a tire iron, a lead pipe and a pocket knife, according to the document.