NewsCrime Watch


Suspect in March shootings near Missoula enters plea for new homicide charge

Also accused of wounding Trooper Wade Palmer
Posted at 8:06 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 22:09:40-05

The man charged with shooting four people in back-to-back shootings last year says he's "not guilty" of killing a woman who died from her injuries months after the shooting.

Jonathan Bertsch's charges changed last week from attempted homicide to deliberate homicide after autopsy results showed Julie Blanchard died from injuries she suffered in that March shooting.

In court Thursday, a line of Montana Highway Patrol troopers watched as the man accused of shooting Blanchard, and one of their own, appeared in court.

Bertsch pleaded not guilty to a second homicide charge - this charge was amended last week to reflect the victim's cause of death.

Bertsch has also pleaded not guilty to a deliberate homicide charge in the shooting death of Shelley Hays.

He faces two counts of attempted deliberate homicide for injuring Trooper Wade Palmer and Julie's son, Casey Blanchard.

Those two victims continue to recover from their wounds.

A trial date for Bertsch has been set for Aug. 17.