A former Montana firearms safety instructor is asking a judge to dismiss charges of negligent homicide and evidence tampering in the shooting death of his hunting partner last year in Helena.

An attorney for 62-year-old Gregg Robert Trude says in the motion that Trude’s rifle discharged for an unknown reason and struck 48-year-old Dr. Eugene “Buzz” Walton after they returned from a hunting trip.  Trude says he wasn’t touching the weapon when it went off. He also disputes a police report that says he denied touching or moving the rifle after it went off.

He says he moved Walton’s rifle to get it out of the way and cleared the spent casing from his rifle because it was pointed at law enforcement officers giving Walton first aid.

A trial is scheduled for May 6.

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