Three Forks man sentenced in homicide case

Three Forks man sentenced in homicide case

HELENA – A Three Forks man was sentenced in Gallatin County District Court Monday to 110 years in Montana State Prison for murdering a man in 2022, Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced.

Zachary Eugene Norman, 26, was found guilty in May of deliberate homicide with a weapons enhancement by a judge in the murder of Chase Estabrook in January 2022. The murder occurred outside a home in Three Forks following visits to local bars. The two men, and Chase’s brother Brendan Estabrook who also died that night, ended up at a house party and a fight broke out when Norman was asked to leave but refused. Norman then shot and killed Chase and Brendan Estabrook.

A judge found Norman not guilty on the deliberate homicide charge regarding Brendan, who prosecutors say died protecting Chase. Norman was also found guilty on two counts of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in the same case in July 2023 after a jury trial.

Prosecutors used testimony from over 25 different witnesses, evidence including Norman’s clothes that were found in a bathtub, the double stacked pistol seized from the Norman residence linked to the wounds found on both victims, and video from multiple locations to secure the guilty verdict. 

In sentencing Norman to 110 years in Montana State Prison, none suspended, with quarter time parole, the judge followed the prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation.

Assistant Attorneys General Jordan P. Salo and Mike J. Gee prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office with support from the Bozeman Police Department and Special Response Team.

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