HAMILTON, MT — A coroners jury ruled Tuesday that Hamilton Police Officer Ross Jessop was justified in shooting Raymond Thane Davis to death after the Hamilton man opened fire during a late night traffic stop in January.
It took the six-woman jury one hour to make its ruling following nearly five hours of testimony, which included a videotape that showed Davis pointing a pistol inches from Jessops face and pulling the trigger.
The click of the revolvers hammer hitting a previously fired round was audible on the tape.
Davis fired a second time as the officer fell back and drew his own weapon.
Jessop fired his pistol 14 times into Davis vehicle as it sped away. One round hit the man in the back. Davis, 36, died on the scene.
His .41 caliber revolver was recovered on the floorboard. Its hammer was cocked and ready to fire.
Witnesses testified Tuesday Davis taste for whiskey and a bad case of jealousy were to blame for the fatal confron-tation.
Shannon Diaz, bar manager at Hamiltons Office and Silver Coin Casino, said Davis was acting strange enough on the evening of Jan. 1 that she wouldnt serve alcohol to him.
"He was completely not like himself ... when he starts drinking whiskey, he just completely turns into a different person," Diaz said.