Browning Man Accused of Murdering Wife With Truck

Thomas Edward Mancha pleads not guilty to first-degree murder

By Justin Franz

A 60-year-old Browning man has been accused of murdering his wife along a remote stretch of U.S. Highway 2 last month.

Federal prosecutors say Thomas Edward Mancha ran over his wife with a truck multiple times east of Browning on the evening of Jan. 1. Mancha pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in U.S. District Court in Great Falls on Feb. 7.

According to court records, another Glacier County man agreed to meet Mancha at a location called Camp Disappointment, east of Browning, where there is a monument commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition. When the man arrived, he found Mancha holding his wife Charlene by the hair. According to the witness, Charlene cried for help before Mancha got into his four-door pickup truck and ran her over twice.

The witness got in his car and drove away to call police. Mancha followed him but eventually turned off U.S. Highway 2 at a location near Blackfoot. After turning off U.S. 2, Mancha drove his vehicle into the path of an oncoming train in an apparent suicide attempt, records state. Mancha survived his injuries and was treated at a Great Falls hospital where he was discharged and arrested three weeks later.

If convicted, Mancha faces life in prison. Mancha is expected to stand trial later this year.

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