A Hamilton couple, Richard and Candace Sullivan, has been charged with deliberate homicide in the death of Robert Thaut, 25, in his home on January 28.

Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright said the Sullivans have been in custody since the incident at Thaut's home on separate charges.

"Today, we filed charges against Richard Sullivan for deliberate homicide, and against Candace Sullivan for accountability for deliberate homicide," Sullivan said. "The Sullivans will appear on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Ravalli County Justice Court to hear the charges against them, then charges will be filed in district court after that."

Charging documents state that Thaut died of multiple injuries, but primarily from blunt force trauma. Montana State Medical Examiner Gary Dale determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the abdomen, which resulted in a large tear to the connective tissue in the intestines, causing Thaut to bleed to death. Dale said the bruise and injury are consistent with an individual who had been stomped upon with great force.Dale also noted that Thaut's face had significant injuries, also consistent with being stomped on with great force.

Fulbright said Hamilton police and the medical examiner did a thorough job in investigating Thaut's death.

"This has been a good investigation conducted by the Hamilton Police Department," Fulbright said. "They took it very seriously and did a good job on it, however, it's a very large investigation and it's taken some time. We wanted to make sure we proceeded correctly, so we waited for the medical evidence and all the interviews to be completed as we put the case together."

Fulbright said no clear motive has yet been established for Thaut's murder. He said both the Sullivans will face the same penalty if convicted of deliberate homicide and accountability for deliberate homicide.

"Both could receive sentences of up to either life in prison, or 100 years in prison, that's the maximum possible," Fulbright said.

 Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright