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Bail set for Bozeman man accused of killing wife

Joseph DeWise makes an initial appearance on Jan. 12, 2018

Joseph DeWise, the Bozeman man accused of killing his wife Lauren DeWise, faced a Gallatin County judge on Friday morning.

Police say he murdered his wife on Sunday morning in Belgrade. 35-year-old Lauren DeWise was found dead from gunshots wounds. Her roommate Ashley Van Hemert also suffered gunshot wounds and is still hospitalized.

Joseph DeWise is facing the possibility of life in prison. He could face additional time added for the use of a weapon. After initially having his bail set for $1 million at the time of his arrest, it was reduced to $800,000 on Friday morning. A plea was not entered on Friday. His next court hearing is set for February 2.

The county attorney’s office said Friday morning, alcohol may have played a factor in the killing.

A public defender said Joseph DeWise had no previous criminal record. They said he was a stay-at-home father who did small construction jobs from time to time.

Charging documents say a third roommate told police Lauren DeWise moved in with her to get away from her abusive husband. Friends and coworkers also back up claims of abuse. Police were told Lauren DeWise had asked the suspect for a divorce before she was killed.

Joseph DeWise was taken into custody Thursday afternoon. Police said they were able to match him to the footprints and shell casings found at the location of the murder in Belgrade.

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