William Frederick Bailey

William Frederick Bailey appears in court with defense attorney Brigitte Carneal. 

A Bozeman homicide suspect is asking a judge to throw out statements he made to police after the shooting of a woman he lived with, claiming that officers did not advise him of his rights beforehand.

William Frederick Bailey, 56, is scheduled to stand trial starting March 30 in the death of 59-year-old Cynthia Carol Wills of Bozeman. Bailey is accused of shooting Wills after becoming upset that she was allegedly spending time with another man, according to charging documents.

Bailey pleaded not guilty to the deliberate homicide charge in April.

Last week, Brigitte Carneal, Bailey’s attorney, filed the request, asking that Gallatin County District Judge John Brown disregard statements made to officers because of “unlawful interrogation that occurred in this case.” Carneal writes in the request that Bailey was never read his rights, despite officers interviewing him and gathering information about the shooting.

Carneal said in the request that officers had multiple opportunities to notify Bailey of his rights, but failed to do so. During one interview, she said, officers taped Bailey’s hands inside “yellow document envelopes” and he was unable to sign a waver of rights.

“The Bozeman Police Department deemed this unnecessary because Mr. Bailey’s hands were covered by paper envelopes,” Carneal said.

Carneal also filed a notice to say that Bailey’s trial may involve the defense of justifiable use of force.

In July, Bailey asked Wills to move out of his house after an argument, police said in charging documents. Before leaving, Wills told Bailey she was going to “have someone visit him,” court documents allege.

Bailey grabbed a gun from his room because he said he felt threatened, police said. He then threw Wills’ belongings onto the driveway.

Wills came back and threw something at Bailey’s door. Police said in charging documents that Bailey then opened the door and fired two shots at Wills, knocking her to the ground. She was taken to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital where she died during surgery.

If convicted, Bailey could face up to 110 years in prison.

Bailey has been held at the Gallatin County jail since April on $1 million bail.

Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Subscribers get full, survey-free access to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's award-winning coverage both on our website and in our e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition.