Ex-gun Safety Teacher Sentenced in Accidental Shooting Death

Lobbyist Gregg Trude pleaded guilty in September to negligent homicide

By Associated Press

HELENA — A lobbyist and former firearms safety instructor has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for the accidental shooting death of his hunting partner in Helena last year.

The Independent Record reports District Judge Michael McMahon on Wednesday imposed a 20-year sentence on Gregg Trude, with all but 1,272 days suspended.

Trude, a longtime lobbyist for conservative causes, pleaded guilty in September to negligent homicide in the death of Eugene “Buzz” Walton. He acknowledged placing a loaded rifle on the backseat of his truck before it accidentally discharged and killed Walton after a hunt in October 2018.

McMahon found Trude not guilty of evidence tampering for the removal of the spent shell casing from the rifle.

Trude unsuccessfully ran for House District 75 in 2018 as a Republican. He was also an instructor for the NRA.

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