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Juan Jose Romero, who helped hide a gun used in a killing in Butte in 2013 but avoided a long prison sentence, could face more time now for violating probation by using meth in Arizona.

Romero was arrested in Colorado in November 2016 and returned to Butte-Silver Bow on Nov. 7, according to court and police records. He admitted violating probation terms before District Judge Kurt Krueger on Thursday and will be sentenced at a later date.

Romero received a 10-year-sentence for helping hide evidence in the shooting of Mark Partelow in Butte in August 2013, but most of it was suspended after he completed corrections boot camp.

A jury found Jeffery Lackman, then 25, of Whitehall, guilty of shooting Partelow, 46, in the face in an alleyway of Casey Street. Lackman claimed he only shot the Butte man in self-defense after being attacked but he was convicted of deliberate homicide and sentenced to 90 years in prison.

Romero, then 29, of Deer Lodge, admitted to helping hide evidence in the shooting and driving the getaway car.

The suspected murder weapon, a 9mm handgun, was found near Elk Park in a plastic shopping bag and wrapped in a towel. Officers picked up Romero and Lackman in Roundup two days after the shooting.

Romero ultimately pleaded guilty to evidence tampering and after completing boot camp, he transferred his probation supervision to Arizona. He was later arrested in that state for allegedly having methamphetamine and a gun, but was not charged.

But he signed a form admitting meth use and admitted that again on Thursday, as well as not reporting to probation officers.

“I didn’t report and I got high,” he told Judge Kurt Krueger.

He is in the Butte jail with bond set at $25,000.


Government and politics reporter

Reporter with emphasis on government and politics.

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