UPDATED: Suspect charged in Helena shooting death

26-year-old Justin Taylor Ward was charged with capital murder after allegedly shooting and killing a 61-year-old Helena man at his home on Monday, April 27. (File)

26-year-old Justin Taylor Ward was charged with capital murder after allegedly shooting and killing a 61-year-old Helena man at his home on Monday, April 27. (File)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

A 61-year-old Helena man, identified as Gene Ward Jr., was found dead in his home on Monday, April 27, from apparent gunshot wounds, and a suspect has now officially been charged with capital murder, according to a Shelby County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Ward

Ward

At approximately 4:15 p.m. on April 28, Justin Taylor Ward, age 26, of Helena, was officially charged with Capital Murder, and is currently being held at the Shelby County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

On April 27 at approximately 8 p.m., the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible homicide at a residence in the 2500 block of Shelby County 93 in rural Shelby near Helena.

Sheriff’s deputies and investigators responded to the scene and discovered an adult male deceased within the home from apparent gunshot wounds. A relative found the victim after going to check on him.

Investigators and evidence technicians developed a suspect within a short period of time and Ward was charged Tuesday afternoon.

“It is always difficult to lose a loved one and my sincere wish for Mr. Ward’s family is that they somehow find peace as they go through this most difficult time,” Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego wrote in a statement.

Anyone with additional information about this crime is urged to contact either the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office directly at 669-4181, the Secret Witness line at 669-9116, or through our website at Shelbyso.com by clicking on the “Report Criminal Activity” link and choosing “General Information.”