by William Skink
It’s been well over a month since a fight at the Poverello Center left Sean Stevenson dead and his family with serious questions about what happened that night and why local authorities have yet to file any charges.
While the alleged killer, Johnny Lee Perry, hasn’t faced charges for his role in Stevenson’s death, he has been in and out of jail for extra jurisdictional warrants.
In fact, just last night Perry was again picked up by authorities and put in jail on two outstanding warrants:
While Perry will probably be out on the streets again in time for lunch, Brandon Bryant’s appearance yesterday in court did NOT result in any change to the $100,000 bond keeping locked up:
Missoula County’s chief criminal prosecutor Matt Jennings requested Vannatta hold Bryant’s bail at $100,000 for concern of public safety. In the YouTube video mentioned in charging documents, Bryant speaks about the City Council, adding “those people who have wronged others … will be eliminated.”
“This isn’t the time or place to argue the merits of the case,” Jennings said.
Jake Coolidge, another public defender on Bryant’s case, said he had been in contact with Veterans Affairs staff to help handle Bryant’s disabilities if released from jail ahead of trial. Additionally, Coolidge said Bryant would abide by previously set conditions, which prohibits him from contacting City Council members in any way.
Vannatta declined to lower Bryant’s bail on Thursday, so Hammond asked for the earliest possible trial date, April 27. The move essentially limits the amount of time for prosecutors to gather more witnesses and evidence tying Bryant to the video, rather than waiving Bryant’s right to a speedy trial, which would allow the defense more time to bolster its defense.
The juxtaposition between how these two men are being treated by the criminal justice system in Missoula continues to be stark and confounding. Stay tuned as more information becomes available, like that autopsy report the County Attorney’s office should have by now.