NewsCrime and Courts


Man charged in 2019 Missoula, Evaro shootings admits guilt

Jonathan Bertsch June 26
Jonathan Bertsch Court June 26
asey Blanchard
Posted at 11:09 AM, Jun 26, 2020

MISSOULA — A change of plea hearing took place Friday morning for the man who is charged with shooting four people -- two of whom died -- in March of 2019.

Jonathan Bertsch pleaded guilty to several charges -- including deliberate homicide during an appearance in Missoula District Court.

Bertsch is charged with two shootingsthat killed two people and critically wounded two others -- including a Montana Highway Patrol trooper.

The first shooting happened March 14, 2019, where Bertsch is accused of killing Shelley Hays, and wounding Casey Blanchard and his mother Julie off Expressway Boulevard in Missoula.

Several hours later on March 15, Bertsch is accused of ambushing MHP Trooper Wade Palmer shooting him several times in the head, leaving Palmer with a traumatic brain injury.

Casey's mother Julie Blanchard died from her injuries in June in a Chelan County, Washington hospital where she died of complications of multiple gunshot wounds.

A judge set Bertsch's next court appearance for Aug. 31, 2020.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

- information from Connor McCauley included in this report.