The nephew of Montana Senator Jon Tester (D-Mt.) was killed in an ax attack at his home in Washington state Tuesday morning by an intruder. Robert Tester, 35, was found dead in his home in Spokane, Washington, along with several bags of what authorities believe to be home-grown cannabis.
Tester’s 8-year-old daughter was awoken in the early morning by a man possessing “a sword and a knife,” according to court documents. “The man told her to stay in bed because he was going to kill her dad,” the documents state.
According to the documents, Tester was found lying in “a large pool of blood,” with the walls and floor of the home also blood-stained. Next to Tester’s body lay an “ax-like maul.”
Following the encounter, the girl reportedly called her grandmother, who then phoned police, who arrived at around 7 a.m. According to Deputy Mark Gregory, the girl was not likely to have witnessed the killing of her father.
Robert Tester may have alluded to his murder in an ominous August 25 Facebook post, in which he lamented a perceived betrayal from an unnamed acquaintance.
“Im not one for drama. I stick to myself for a reason. Don’t do family bbqs for a reason,” he wrote. “There’s gonna be some hard days ahead of us but i want you all to know that I was victimized by someone close to me. Someone i treated like a brother and trusted. I love you all and hope you can understand my never-ending pain. He took my best friend from me and turned her life into darkness, thru drugs and manipulation… This isn’t putting anyone on blast or me needing sympathy or attention. Keep it. Place it upon your spouse or kids… Just understand why I roar when i do. Understand my agony.”
Near Tester’s body in the living room were reportedly found multiple bags of cannabis. According to the grandmother, Tester grew his own. While recreational cannabis is legal in Washington state, it remains illegal for residents to grow their own.
Sen. Tester’s office issued a statement requesting privacy for the family.
“Senator Tester and his family appreciate the privacy given during this difficult time,” the statement reads.
The court documents make no mention of persons of interest in Tester’s slaying.