NewsCrime and Courts


Father of murdered brothers makes startling admission at killer's sentencing

Roger Estabrook said at the sentencing trial he intended to kill Zachary Norman before having a change of heart.
norman sentencing.jpg
Posted at 4:34 PM, Jun 18, 2024

(Updated 9:56 p.m., 06/17/24)

BOZEMAN — Zachary Norman, the man accused of fatally shooting two brothers in Three Forks on Jan. 15, 2022, has been sentenced after being found guilty of deliberate homicide in the death of Chase Estabrook.

District Court Judge John Brown sentenced 25-year-old Norman to 100 years in the Montana State Prison on the deliberate homicide charge on Monday, June 17, 2024.

Watch as Norman's sentence comes down in Judge Brown's courtroom:

WATCH: Sentencing for Three Forks man found guilty of deliberate homicide

Family members of the Estabrook brothers took the stand at the sentencing trial to address Norman.

"If you ever leave prison in anything but a casket, I hope and pray you have the fear of constantly looking over your shoulder," said Kim Finn, mother of Chase and Brendan Estabrook.

But when the brothers' father Roger Estabrook took the stand, that’s when things took an unexpected turn.

Roger Estabrook shared his intent to kill Norman before having a sudden change of heart. Roger said he snuck a makeshift shank into the courtroom during Norman’s trial, hiding it somewhere, planning to kill Norman out of revenge.

Law enforcement escorted Roger out and eventually cleared the courtroom to search for the weapon. Law enforcement would not confirm whether or not they found the shank.

When court resumed, Norman took the stand where he shared his sympathy for the family and children of the brothers.

"It's been an emotional two years," Norman said. "Two years filled with pain and anger and hate, and I think all those emotions are warranted and well understood."

In an April bench trial, Judge Brown found Norman not guilty of deliberate homicide in the death of Chase's brother, Brendan Estabrook. On Monday, Norman was also given a concurrent 10-year sentence for evidence tampering and another 10 years on a weapons enhancement to be served consecutively.

Norman was initially tried in July 2023, resulting in a hung jury on both deliberate homicide charges. The state re-filed the charges, leading to April's bench trial in front of Judge Brown.

Norman will be eligible for parole in 25 years.