BILLINGS — A Nevada man has been convicted of killing his girlfriend in southern Montana even though investigators have not found her remains.
In closing arguments Wednesday, defense attorneys for Gregory Scott Green argued the state hadn’t met its burden of proof in a case with no body, no crime scene and no murder weapon, KULR-TV reported.
Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Ann-Marie McKittrick urged jurors not to reward Green for getting rid of Laura Johnson’s body.
“The reason there’s no body is because he disposed of it,” she said. “He went on a three-day cleanup campaign.”
Jurors deliberated for just over two hours before finding Green, 54, guilty of deliberate homicide in the Sept. 13, 2018, death of Johnson, 49. A sentencing date has not been set.
Video evidence and Green’s actions after Johnson went missing from a Billings residence were key to the conviction.
Prosecutors presented a video captured at Walmart, showing Green with an abrasion on the side of his face. Video obtained from a neighbor’s surveillance camera showed Johnson going into the house she shared with Green, but never leaving. The same neighbor’s video showed Green carrying a heavy object out of the house covered in a blanket. Blood belonging to Johnson was found in the back of Green’s pickup truck, investigators testified.
The manager of the property Green was renting said he sought reimbursement for several repairs to the residence, some for as little as $3.02, but did not seek reimbursement for the $250 cost of replacing the carpet and carpet pad in a bedroom, The Billings Gazette reported.
The lead detective testified the original carpet appeared to have been moved to another room in the house, but that a 30-inch-by-15-inch (76-centimeter-by-38-centimeter) piece of it had been cut out and could not be located.
“So whatever he did to her, he decided that he had to get rid of at least a chunk of that carpet,” County Attorney Scott Twito told jurors.
Defense attorneys Gregory Paskel and Blaine McGivern argued that Johnson had struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues and may have fallen back into drug use. Green maintained Johnson left the house one day while he was away at work and never returned.
She did not pick up her final paycheck or return to Billings Clinic for methadone treatment, prosecutors countered.
Green was arrested in Henderson, Nevada in April 2019.
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