Suspect in East Missoula Incident Intended ‘Suicide by Cop’
35 year-old William ‘Billy’ Newhoff, the man accused of leading sheriff’s deputies on a high speed chase through East Missoula, and breaking into a mobile home on Tuesday, had intended to commit 'suicide by cop'.
Newhoff’s girlfriend, who claims to be his wife, was in the courtroom and spoke to reporters after his appearance.
Substitute Justice of the Peace Matthew Erickson, read the charges to Newhoff, which included two counts of auto theft, burglary, criminal endangerment and criminal mischief, all felonies.
Deputy County Attorney Kaitlin Williams asked for $150,000 bond.
“This defendant stole two vehicles and when confronted, grabbed a gun and took law enforcement on a high speed chase in a residential neighborhood,” said Williams. “He crashed through fences and into a house, kept fleeing in the vehicle, crashed it and then took off on foot, broke into a trailer and hid there until he was apprehended.”
Williams said Newhoff had planned to end his life during the incident.
“When questioned, this defendant said he was going to prison for life and had nothing to lose,” she said. “He had no problem jeopardizing the lives of innocent people and was prepared to commit ‘suicide by cop’.”
Williams said Newhoff had a lengthy criminal record in state and federal cases and had escaped twice from custody.
Judge Erickson set bail at $150,000 and ordered Newhoff to appear again on February 18.
Following his appearance via video from the county jail, Newhoff’s girlfriend requested to speak to reporters. She claimed to have stage four cancer and that she and Newhoff had planned to die together.
“If we had our way, we would have been put in the ground together,” she said. “We’ll be together.”