Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On January 18, 2024, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced that a man in the United States illegally faces up to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to mitigated deliberate homicide for stabbing a man to death in July 2022. 

On Friday, Francisco Padilla Canales entered a change of plea in Gallatin County District Court. He had previously faced charges of deliberate homicide, aggravated kidnapping, tampering with witnesses and information, and aggravated burglary. 

What Allegedly Took Place

After tracking his estranged wife with a GPS device planted on her car and discovering that she and the victim were in a relationship, court documents indicate Canales attacked the pair, inflicting multiple stab wounds to the victim’s chest.  

The victim succumbed to his injuries shortly after law enforcement arrived on the scene despite Canales attempting CPR after the attack. Canales also allegedly coerced his estranged wife into supporting his original statement to Bozeman Police Officers that he had not been responsible for the stabbing, before eventually making a full confession.  

Law enforcement officers also found three handguns, two rifles, and a shotgun in Canales’s vehicle, which he was not legally allowed to possess. 

Detained on an ICE Hold

According to Knudsen, Canales is currently detained on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold. If he is paroled at any time, he would likely be deported, and barred from receiving legal immigration status into the United States in the future.  

Sentencing is set for March 18, 2024. Both the State and the Defense will recommend Canales be sentenced to the Montana State Prison for 40 years, with 10 years suspended.  Assistant Attorney General Jordan P. Salo prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bozeman Police Department.  

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable. 

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