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Hernandez found guilty

By 
Kathleen Gilluly Outlook Editor
Thursday, March 25, 2021
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Lori Bray

After a five-and-a-half day trial, Diego Hernandez, 24, was found guilty of deliberate homicide for the murder of Lori Bray, 57, of Laurel, Oct. 1, 2019.

The jury took about two hours to deliberate the case which was held in the courtroom of District Court Judge Michael Moses in Billings.

Bray was last seen on surveillance cameras giving Hernandez a ride at the end of her shift about 12:30 a.m. at Cedar Ridge Casino. Her disappearance was noted soon afterwards and friend and casino manager Cathy Culp quickly organized a search party which began searching for Bray early that morning. Her body was found later off Yard Office Road, north of Alder Ridge Trailer Park by a man riding an ATV.

In addition to the circumstantial evidence presented, DNA evidence tied Hernandez both to Bray’s abandoned vehicle and her body. Hernandez’s attorneys did not present a defense, although argued in closing that investigators made premature assumptions pointing to Hernandez’s guilt.

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