Montana Man Gets 80 Years For Fatally Shooting Roommate

Bailey shot Wills after a confrontation over whether she was spending time with another man

By Associated Press

BOZEMAN — A judge sentenced a Bozeman, Montana, man to 80 years in prison for fatally shooting his female roommate a year ago.

William Frederick Bailey will serve his sentence in Montana State Prison after pleading guilty in February to killing 59-year-old Cynthia Carol Wills, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Judge John Brown also ruled that Bailey must pay $3,000 in restitution and register as a violent offender if granted an early release. No restrictions were set on when he could seek parole.

Bailey shot Wills after a confrontation over whether she was spending time with another man, prosecutors said.

Bailey argued with Wills and asked her to move out of his residence at a mobile home park, police said. She returned and threw a planter at the door before Bailey fired two shots at her, authorities said.

Wills’ sister and daughter asked the judge to impose a harsh sentence to ensure Bailey would never be free again.

Attorney Briggitte Carneal asked the judge to impose a 55-year prison sentence, basically a life sentence because of Bailey’s undisclosed health issues.

“Mr. Bailey will die while serving this sentence, regardless of the sentence imposed,” Carneal said.

Brown said Bailey deserved to be incarcerated for the rest of his life or under state supervision, and that he had to balance the family’s request with guidelines that allow him to seek rehabilitation.

“If I was in a similar situation to Ms. Wills’ family, and if it was a family member of mine, I would probably make the same request,” Brown said.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.