BILLINGS - A man accused of a fatal shooting outside a Billings nightclub was ordered held in jail on $250,000 bond during his arraignment Tuesday.
Xavier Thanae Buffalo, 18, appeared in Yellowstone County District Court by video from the county jail and pleaded not guilty to felony charges of deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence.
A prosecutor asked for the $250,000 bond amount after noting the nature of the charges, while a public defender asked for a lesser amount of $100,000 arguing that Buffalo was young and had a limited criminal history.
Judge Jessica Fehr described the $250,000 bond amount as "more than appropriate given the allegations" against Buffalo.
Buffalo was charged for the death of 21-year-old Beau Harlan Beaumont, who was shot early Sunday morning in the parking lot outside America's Wild West on Southgate Drive. Beaumont died of a single gunshot to the abdomen.
Prosecutors state in charging documents that officers were sent to the nightclub at about 1:40 a.m. for a reported shooting. When officers arrived they found Beaumont on the ground in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Beaumont was transported to St. Vincent Healthcare where he later died.
Witnesses at the scene advised officers the shooter as a man named "Xaie," who was later identified as Xavier Buffalo, court records state. The witnesses said there was a physical altercation between Beaumont and Buffalo in the parking lot during which Beaumont was shot. Buffalo had left the scene before officers arrived.
Surveillance video from the nightclub showed a group of people standing near a parked car. Buffalo is shown punching Beaumont, court records state, and Beaumont falls to the ground and attempts to crawl away.
"It appears the Defendant tries to stomp on the victim and he stands above (Beaumont's) body," prosecutors state in court records. "The Defendant tucks what appears to be a firearm in his waistband, and walks up to (Beaumont's) body again before fleeing on foot."
Officers located Buffalo after receiving information about additional witnesses and family that he lived on South 26th Street. He was arrested a short time after officers saw him get picked up in a vehicle at the residence.
Prosecutors allege Buffalo admitted to shooting Beaumont with a .38 caliber revolver and stated he gave the gun to his girlfriend after the shooting.