By Martin J. Kidston
Police have recovered the weapon they believe was used in the murders of Kristi Walker and Kevin Caplette in a Havre home last Thursday.
The 9mm handgun was found in a red Oldsmobile, according to police officials. The car was seen parked in front of 1231 Sixth St. during a party that lasted through the night and into the morning when the murders occurred. The vehicle was recovered on the Rocky Boys Indian Reservation the following day.
While police continue to uncover evidence, suspects Jacob Spang and Reid Danell remain incarcerated in the Cascade County Jail. They were arrested on charges of deliberate homicide at the Highwood Motel in Great Falls Friday night and are waiting to be transported to Havre, where they will enter their pleas and gain representation in court.
Police have identified the third suspect as 15-year-old Francine Spang, sister of suspect Jacob Spang and also Westy Spang, who was found shot to death on Rocky Boys Reservation earlier this year.
Francine Spang attended youth court Monday morning were she was ordered by Judge Warner to be held in the regional detention center in Great Falls until her trial, which is scheduled for Oct. 28. However, the trial is for charges unrelated to the murder of Walker and Caplette.
Her trial will be for previous charges against her, which involve possession, obstruction and resisting arrest, Hill County Prosecutor David Rice said. But in accordance with that, we also gave Judge Warner enough probable cause that we believe Francine will be charged with facilitating deliberate homicide by tampering with physical evidence.
While police would not say who they suspect actually fired the gun that killed Walker and Caplette, they did say that Caplette had been shot multiple times.
An autopsy was conducted on both victims to determine the cause of death, which was gunshots, Havre Police Chief Mike Shortell said Monday. The male was shot multiple times, but I think we should limit the specific details of their injuries and what caused them, so we can find out who has specific knowledge compared to general knowledge.
Police believe the 9mm was the only gun involved. They said it was not listed as stolen, nor was it registered in the suspects names. Police would not say if weapons other than the gun were used in the crime.
All that information will likely come out at the trial, Shortell said.
All three suspects have lengthy criminal records and were under probation for various offenses at one time or another. Francine Spang was release from juvenile detention under certain release conditions, which she broke by attending the party with Danell and Jacob Spang.
Jacob Spang also has a history of violence, including aggravated robbery, to which the charges were dropped, and aggravated assault, which was later pleaded down to a misdemeanor. Spang was placed on probation and ordered to take anger management classes.
Danell has a history that includes felony armed robbery and burglary, and was reported to have walked away from a youth evaluation program last year.