Michael Lee McClure, one of the suspects in last Friday’s crime spree in Yellowstone County that left a Wyoming man dead, was well known to local law enforcement with multiple pursuits, drug possession, robbery, assault, and other outstanding warrants.
In January of 2019, McClure was arrested in Musselshell County and charged with three felonies and three misdemeanors-- for stealing two cars and then attempting to escape from the Musselshell County jail.
According to court documents, Musselshell County Sheriff Shawn Lesnik apprehended McClure after responding to report of a stolen truck from the Kilby Butte Colony. Witnesses saw the suspect drive into the front gate of the Colony at a high speed and abandon a car that turned out to be stolen from Billings and then steal a truck. McClure refused to follow law enforcement commands and began to run before finally being apprehended.
Later as McClure was being taken to a holding cell in the Musselshell County jail before his initial appearance, he broke away the sheriff and bolted toward an open door leading into the dispatch center before finally being restrained.
Documents show that He plead not guilty and was later released on his own recognizance.
In August of 2020, a petition was filed to revoke McClure’s release after he was arrested in Powell County on suspicion of robbery and inflicting bodily injury to another person-- another felony.
In March of this year 2021-- McClure went to trial in Musselshell County-- and made a deal to plead guilty to most of the charges against him. He was allowed to remain free pending sentencing, but then never showed up to complete pre-sentencing requirements despite having an ankle monitor.
Musselshell County Sheriff Shawn Lesnik says he was disappointed that county attorney Kevin Peterson accepted a plea and allowed McClure to remain free before sentencing, “He should have been in custody. He proved time and time again that he wouldn’t follow requests.”
The sheriff says he wasn’t surprised to see McClure’s name pop up again. “I think all my deputies would agree, he was legitimately a bad guy,” he said.
McClure, 26, died Friday after a nine- hour standoff with police in Billings of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.