Crime

Man Shoots Bartender, Kills His Dog Over Non-Kosher Drink

| by Jordan Smith
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A 29-year-old bartender in Hamilton, Montana, was shot earlier this month after he served a drink made from Clamato rather than tomato juice.

Joseph Lewis was shot once in the chest and his dog was killed by Monte Leon Hanson at around 3 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. Lewis and Hanson were neighbors in the same apartment building where the shooting took place.

Earlier that evening, Hanson reportedly went to the bar where Lewis works, and Lewis served him Clamato juice instead of tomato juice in his red beer. Court documents said that Hanson was angered by this because the presence of clam’s broth in Clamato juice meant that it was a non-kosher drink.

Hanson returned home and informed another neighbor of the incident. According to the court documents, Hanson declared he was entitled to “retaliate and had the right to kill Lewis."

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The neighbor responded by advising Hanson to "sleep it off, as he (Hanson) was drunk."

Lewis had earlier warned his girlfriend to stay away from Hanson because he was “acting weird,” according to the affidavit presented in court.

When Lewis returned home from work at around 2 a.m., he took his dog outside and Hanson followed him, according to Lewis’ girlfriend.

"It wasn't very long after I'd gone to bed," Helen Bibler, a resident who lives nearby, told NBC Montana, "and I heard these five rounds fired."

Police officers quickly responded and intercepted Hanson as he walked down the street. Answering one officer who asked him if he had heard the gun shots, Hanson “raised his hands in the air, and said he wanted an attorney,” according to the court affidavit.

"This was essentially an unprovoked attack," prosecutor Angela Wetzsteon told Ravalli County Justice Court, "in which the defendant premeditated what he was going to do."

The prosecution demanded bail for Hanson be set at $250,000, which was accepted by Judge Jennifer Ray.

Hanson is set to appear in court again May 28 on charges of attempted murder and animal cruelty.

Lewis is reportedly recovering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Sources: Haaretz, NBC Montana

Photo Credit: NBC Montana, cookincanuck.com