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66-Year-Old Billings Photographer Stabbed to Death

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Well-known landscape and outdoors photographer Michael S. Sample was stabbed to death near his office in downtown Billings. Police have a suspect in custody.

Lt. Jeremy House says Sample was stabbed at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday and died of his injuries at the hospital.

Yellowstone County Coroner Chad Fehr identified the victim and said an autopsy is planned on Monday.

Officers took 23-year-old Zachariah James Wiseman into custody shortly after the stabbing. He was being held on suspicion of deliberate homicide. County Attorney Scott Twito said Wiseman likely will make his first court appearance next week.

Sample’s images of Montana have appeared in books and calendars, including “Montana: The Last Best Place” published in 1992 and in collaboration with Billings Gazette photographer Larry Mayer in “Montana on My Mind” published in 1987.

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