Man accused in beating death of Hamilton man pleads not guilty


HAMILTON, Mont. - A man accused in what prosecutors call the "stomping" death of a 25-year-old Hamilton man made his first appearance in Ravalli County District Court.

Richard Michael Sullivan pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide charges in the murder of Robert L. Thaut.

Thaut was beaten to death at his south side Hamilton home in January.

Thaut struggled with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism.

Court records said Sullivan became angry at Thaut for smelling his wife's hair.

Sullivan's bail was continued at $200,000.

His wife, Candace Sullivan, faces charges of accountability in Thaut's death.

Both husband and wife were arrested last year on charges of using drugs while a child was in their care.