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Suspect pleads guilty in connection with the death of MT boy

Antonio “Tony” Renova
Emelio Renova, Stephanie Byington, Racso Birdtail
Posted at 1:16 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 15:16:58-05

GREAT FALLS — One of three people charged in the death of 5-year-old Antonio "Tony" Renova in Great Falls in November 2019, pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges of assault on a minor by accountability and tampering with evidence.

Tony died while in the custody of his parents, Emilio Renova and Stephanie Byington; they are still awaiting trial.

Racso Birdtail was originally charged with deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence.

Cascade County Attorney Josh Rocki told MTN News that the deliberate homicide charges was dropped because the new charges better fit Birdtail's involvement in the crime.

Racki said Birdtail will likely be sentenced after the other two suspects, Renova's parents, go to trial later this year.

As of Tuesday, Birdtail remained jailed in Cascade County.