Wolf Point man's murder conviction overturned

Great Falls, Montana (AP) November 2010

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the murder conviction of a Wolf Point man who was sentenced to life in prison, agreeing that an error was made during his trial.

Robert War Club, a former chief criminal investigator for the Fort Peck Tribes, was convicted in October 2009 in the death of Richard Green.

Green's body was found in his Wolf Point garage in April 2006. Court records say he suffered blows to the back of his head and his neck was cut. Prosecutors argued War Club was indebted to Green, a card dealer who also ran a vehicle pawn business out of his home.

The defense tried to elicit testimony from Green's brother that they said showed he had a motive - revenge - for the killing. But U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon sustained an objection that the questioning was irrelevant and prejudicial.

The appeals court says Haddon precluded War Club from developing evidence that Green's brother had a motive. The Great Falls Tribune reports that prosecutors plan to retry the case.