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Montana probation and parole officers were looking for Troy Douglas Johnson in connection with an assault in the days leading up to his arrest for allegedly killing an Anaconda woman in her home last week.

A probation officer in Yellowstone County said Johnson was being investigated for a partner-family member assault that allegedly occurred there April 28 but he had left his last-known residence and couldn’t be found, according to a probation report.

Johnson, 54, was charged that same day in Yellowstone County with two counts of assault with a weapon and misdemeanors for burglary and aggravated assault, the report said. The probation report does not detail what happened.

He had also tested positive for methamphetamine twice in April and failed to undergo drug and alcohol monitoring and testing at least four times in late April and early May.

When his probation officer reached him by phone on May 1 and told him to report the next day, Johnson said he was 300 miles from Billings but would not give his location. He was then told to report May 4 but didn’t show, according to the report.

Johnson was arrested in Butte on May 16 after allegedly killing 64-year-old Shelley Schafer in her Anaconda home the day before by hitting her in the head with a metal bar. He was charged with deliberate homicide last Thursday.

Anaconda police said just hours after Johnson’s arrest that he had apparently gotten out of state prison two weeks before the homicide, which The Montana Standard reported.

But according to records the Montana Department of Corrections provided to the Standard on Monday, Johnson had been released from state prison on Feb. 22, 2017 after serving time for partner-family member assault.

Since his release, he was initially under supervision of probation officials in Anaconda-Deer Lodge County but that oversight was transferred to probation officials in Billings last September.

Anaconda police say Johnson may have recently been squatting in a small residential unit near Schafer’s home. They found his driver’s license and other belongings there.

Prosecutors say Johnson told a female acquaintance he had struck Schafer with a metal bar and had taken her car, cash, credit cards and jewelry. He was captured the next day after a high-speed chase and manhunt in Butte-Silver Bow.

Johnson has convictions for partner-family member assault out of Lewis and Clark County that date back to 1998 and 2006, but his record also includes numerous probation and program violations and times he went missing while on supervision.

In the past 10 years, he has been in state prison in Deer Lodge, regional prison in Great Falls, the Crossroads Correctional Center in Great Falls, the Helena Pre-release Center, an assessment center in Missoula and jails in Broadwater, Deer Lodge, Yellowstone and Lewis and Clark counties, according to a DOC location report.

Several incidents and probation violations have occurred since his supervision was transferred to Billings last September, according to a probation report filed May 16 — the day he was arrested in Butte.

Among them:

• On Dec. 7, his home was searched due to reports of drug activity. Officers found alcohol and Johnson admitted to recently using meth. He was placed on increased reporting and drug-and-alcohol testing with the probation officer.

• On April 13 — the last time the probation officer actually saw him — Johnson tested positive for meth. A “case management response” was conducted and he was ordered to obtain a current chemical dependency evaluation.

• Johnson tested positive for meth on April 16 and April 19 and then failed to undergo testing for drugs and alcohol several times after that.

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Government and politics reporter

Reporter with emphasis on government and politics.

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