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Man sentenced to 80 years in Sanders County homicide case

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Aug 31, 2022

THOMPSON FALLS – A Hot Springs man has been sentenced to 80 years in the Montana State Prison for killing his roommate.

Sanders County District Judge John W. Larson handed down the sentence after a jury convicted Aaron Eugene McLaughlin in June on a deliberate homicide charge.

McLaughlin killed his roommate in October 2020 by blunt force trauma that caused a massive brain hemorrhage.

McLaughlin called 911 after the assault and said he beat the victim, Raymond R. Wachlin, after Wachlin broke through his door. He also reportedly laughed about the incident while he was being taken to the Sanders County jail, according to a news release.

“Another dangerous criminal is behind bars thanks to our hard-working Department of Justice prosecutors and investigators and law enforcement partners. We must continue to send the message to criminals that Montana will not tolerate illegal behavior,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said.

Montana Department of Justice attorneys Dan Guzynski and Stephanie Robles prosecuted the case at the request of the Sanders County Attorney’s Office. The Division of Criminal Investigation and Hot Springs Police Department investigated the case.