Texas Man said He Feared for His Life Before Fatal Shooting

Men were using meth before one felt like the others were going to 'get rid of him'

By Molly Priddy

BUTTE — A Texas man charged with killing a Montana man and shooting two others told investigators he feared for his life.

The Montana Standard reports jurors hearing the case against 48-year-old Tony Dwade Sawyer watched a video of law enforcement officers questioning him.

Sawyer is charged with deliberate homicide in the death of Joe Powers of Whitehall and attempted deliberate homicide for shooting and injuring Steve Drury and Hunter Smith.

Sawyer told investigators that he and the other men had used methamphetamine before driving to the rural area about 13 miles southeast of Butte.

He said he believed Drury had planned to “get rid of” him. He said he pleaded with Drury before he fired three rounds. Sawyer acknowledged shooting Powers and Smith, who were standing nearby.

The surviving victims were expected to testify Wednesday.

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