BILLINGS – The man accused of a major crime spree in Billings on Monday night has been charged.
Ryan McElmury, 41, was charged Tuesday with 12 felony counts related to the incident, which included a high-speed chase with law enforcement, and five stolen vehicles.
Bail was set at $1 million.
The bond was set by Judge Jeanne Walker, who overruled a recommendation from the state court administrator’s office.
Billings and Missoula are both part of a pilot program, launched this summer, where information about offenders and their crimes are put into a computer, and a recommendation is made to the judge on what punishment should be issued.
In this case, the suggestion was that McElmury was only a Level 1 passive threat, and could be released on his own recognizance.
“I sincerely hope this is a mistake,” Walker said during the hearing. “If not, this is completely unacceptable. In fact, it’s appalling that the individuals who presumably have the best information to asses an offenders risk, would recommend a release of OR in a case like this.”
The charges include three counts of felony robbery with a weapons enhancement, three counts of aggravated burglary, one charge of assault with a weapon, two counts of criminal endangerment and three counts of felony theft.
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John described the incident as “50 minutes of carnage” that began with an attempted robbery at Performance Auto on Monday night.
McElmury then led law enforcment on a chase, that went from South Billings, through the West End, on I-90 to Lockwood, and eventually ending north of the Heights.
During the chase, shots were fired by officers, and likely the suspect, homes were broken into, cars were stolen, and multiple people were held at gunpoint.
Reporting by Samantha Sullivan for MTN News