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Court documents provide new details on hit-and-run death, suspect’s past

Grady appears in Missoula Justice Court

New information about a man prosecutors say ran over a 22-year-old woman and left her for dead in a Missoula street shows he was behind bars in Butte just last year.

The victim was 22-year-old Rebecca Romero. She was a UM graduate and had joined the Montana National Guard. Her family said she dreamed of being a game warden. They remembered her as an empathetic soul.

“We miss her terribly already and are unsure how this void will ever be completed again without her,” said her father, Merced Romero Jr.

Romero was found dead in a Missoula street Sunday morning. Police say 26-year-old Daniel Grady was arrested hours later at an apartment building. He made his initial court appearance Tuesday in Missoula Justice Court. His bond was set at $100,000.

Charging documents explain what investigators say happened the night Romero was hit and killed.

Prosecutors say Grady was the driver but wasn’t the only one in the truck. It says three others were with him -- Kyle Carlee, Matthew Miller and Braden Babb. The court papers say the men were driving home after a night of drinking at the bars. At least one passenger admitted to being blackout drunk.

The passenger accounts in the documents say when they approached Shakespeare Street and Phillips Street all of them heard a thud, one saw hair flying, another a flash of a woman, all say Grady didn’t stop.

Investigators say the men went to an apartment and then argued about what to do. The court papers say Carlee claimed he wanted to do the right thing and tried to leave but was restrained.

Officers found Grady and the others after picking up a piece of plastic from a headlight at the scene. They ran the manufacturing number and found out it was from a 2003-2007 Chevy Silverado. Officers started looking for a truck like that with front end damage and say they found it at the Cedar Villas apartment complex, about 10 blocks from the scene.

NBC Montana also called courts in Missoula and Silver Bow counties to see if Grady has had any problems before. Records show he had a DUI per se charge and a speeding charge in Missoula in 2013, a no insurance ticket in 2014.

Silver Bow records show that in Butte last year he faced three felonies -- assault with a weapon and two criminal endangerment charges.

Those charging documents say he pointed a shotgun at Tyler McLaughlin. McLaughlin reportedly got in his vehicle with one other person, Corey Gustafson, and the court documents say Grady got in his vehicle and chased them through Butte, reaching speeds of 80 mph on Harrison Avenue.

Grady faced up to 20 years in prison for the assault with a weapon charge and up to 10 years for each criminal endangerment charge, but the case was thrown out in April. Court papers say it got tossed because the witnesses wouldn’t come forward and testify. Without that, prosecutors said they couldn’t convict Grady.

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