Man Charged in Laurel Woman’s Strangulation Death

22-year-old Diego Thomas Hernandez has been charged with deliberate homicide

By Associated Press

BILLINGS – Montana authorities say a 57-year-old Laurel woman whose body was found in a wooded ravine was strangled to death.

The cause of Lori Bray’s Oct. 1 death was included in charging documents against 22-year-old Diego Thomas Hernandez, who has been charged with deliberate homicide.

The Billings Gazette reports Hernandez appeared Thursday before a justice of the peace, who set bond at $500,000.

James Siegman, Hernandez’s public defender at the hearing, declined to comment, saying Hernandez would be represented by another attorney.

Prosecutors say additional charges are possible as investigators receive test results from evidence.

Surveillance video shows Hernandez leaving with Bray in her car after she finished her shift at a casino.

Investigators who met Hernandez say he had scratches and bruises to his face, neck and hand that he explained as the result of a fight with a male friend.

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