Butte bounty hunter found guilty of homicide

Montana Right Now
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BUTTE, Mont. – Bondsman Jay Steven Hubber and his bounty-hunting partner, Nicholas John Jaeger, were found guilty on Thursday, March 14, 2024 for deliberate homicide and aggravated burglary.

According to the release from the Office of the Montana State Auditor, William Harris died due to shots from Jaeger, a convicted felon, which occurred after Hubber and Jaeger unlawfully charged into Harris’ home on their search for the bail-jumper David Sandoval.

During a struggle with Harris, Jaeger grabbed Hubber’s gun and shot Harris. Hubber was found guilty of the homicide on the charge of accountability.


“Nick Jaeger pulled the trigger and Jay Hubber pulled the strings,” Prosecutors said to the jury, who came to their final decision Thursday night after five hours, according to the release. 

It took more than two years to bring the case to trial.  

“The vast majority of bail bonds people do things correctly. However, when someone does something wrong, they need to be held accountable.  In this instance, they were wrong and have been held accountable,” Commissioner Troy Downing said. “I am pleased with this verdict; I think it will go a long way to ensuring public safety.”

This fatal incident sparked the idea for the law brought forth in 2022 to crack down on bounty-hunting tactics used in Montana, according to the release. One accomplishment of the law was the forbiddance of convicted felons to become bond agents.

“The newly passed legislation will require new bail bondsmen to undergo 40 hours of training in areas including constitutional law, use of force, procedures for arresting a defendant and surrendering a defendant into custody,” the release said. 

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