Posted: Apr 15, 2013 8:59 PM by Angela Douglas - MTN News
BILLINGS - A Billings man accused of kidnapping and murdering a man in January will not face the death penalty.
Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito has decided to not seek the death penalty for Simon Jacobson, 28. Jacobson is accused of kidnapping and killing Dejaun Laster in mid-January.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Twito stated that based on comparisons to other death penalty cases, the Yellowstone County Attorney's Office decided that Jacobson would not likely receive the sentence of death during the sentencing phase.
Prosecutors allege that on January 17, 2013 Jacobson and his accomplice, James Walker, 32, posed as law enforcement officers in order to kidnap Dejuan Laster, 29, from his room at the Extended Stay Hotel and later murdered him northeast of Billings.
After the homicide Jacobson fled Montana to Colorado where he was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Task Force.
In court documents the State alleges that Jacobson admitted to Billings police detectives that he "shot and killed" Laster.
In addition to the homicide and kidnapping felonies, Jacobson was also charged with 11 counts of robbery. Prosecutors claim that he robbed ten casinos in Billings and one in Livingston dating back to April 6, 2012.
According to Twito, the proper course is to move forward in the case and work to properly convict Jacobson to ensure he is incarcerated for the remainder of his life.
Jacobson could face three life sentences if he is convicted of deliberate homicide, aggravated kidnapping, and the 11 armed robbery charges.