Attorney General’s Office secures 80-year sentence in Sanders County homicide case
THOMPSON FALLS – A Hot Springs man was sentenced Tuesday to 80 years in Montana State Prison with no time suspended for deliberate homicide by Sanders County District Judge John W. Larson. A jury convicted Aaron Eugene McLaughlin in June following a successful prosecution by the Attorney General’s Office Prosecution Services Bureau.
McLaughlin killed his roommate in October 2020 by blunt force trauma that caused a massive brain hemorrhage. McLaughlin called 911 after the assault and said he beat the victim, Raymond R. Wachlin, after Wachlin broke through his door. He also reportedly laughed about the incident when describing the scenario to the officer transporting him to the Sanders County Detention Center.
“Another dangerous criminal is behind bars thanks to our hard-working Department of Justice prosecutors and investigators and law enforcement partners. We must continue to send the message to criminals that Montana will not tolerate illegal behavior,” Attorney General Austin Knudsen said.
Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys Dan Guzynski and Stephanie Robles prosecuted the case at the request of the Sanders County Attorney’s Office. DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation and Hot Springs Police Department investigated the case.