Trude pleads not guilty in shooting death of Helena physician

Posted at 10:53 AM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-02 14:35:57-05

(HELENA) Gregg Robert Trude, charged with negligent homicide and tampering with or fabricating evidence in the death of Eugene “Buzz” Walton, pleaded not guilty in District Court on Wednesday.

The charges stem from an incident on October 21, 2018, when Walton sustained a gunshot wound in the parking lot of the former Kmart on Cedar Street.

A jury trial is scheduled for May 6.

Trude faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 if convicted.

Trude previously ran for Montana House District 75 where he was defeated in the June 2018 primary.

On his LinkedIn page he lists himself as an NRA rifle and handgun instructor and a member of the National Right to Life board of directors.

  • Reported by John Riley

(OCTOBER 23, 2018) The man who died after a gun discharged in Helena on Sunday has been identified as Dr. Eugene “Buzz” Walton II. The Lewis & Clark County Coroner released the name on Monday.

The incident happened on Sunday afternoon, after a rifle discharged in the former Kmart parking lot off of Cedar Street.

Lt. Brett Petty of the Helena Police Department said officers responded just before 12:30 p.m., after several people called 911 to report hearing a gunshot in the area.

Officers found Walton with an apparent gunshot wound, and began lifesaving measures.

The Helena Fire Department and medical responders from St. Peter’s Health arrived soon after and provided medical aid.

Walton was taken to St. Peter’s by ambulance, but he was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived at the hospital.

Petty said Walton had just returned from a hunting trip with another man, and that he was trying to get his hunting rifle out of the back of the truck when the rifle discharged.

Walton, 48 years old, was a physician at Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine in Helena, according to its website.

The Facebook page for the organization states:

** We will not be answering phones today**

Our clinic will be closed Monday. Please be patient and our staff will get a hold of you soon. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time for our staff, family and friends of Dr. Walton.

His body has been taken to Missoula for autopsy to officially determine the cause and manner of death.