NewsCrime and Courts


Suspect in Missoula, Evaro shootings enters plea for new homicide charge

Posted at 7:49 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 22:20:23-05

The man who is charged with shooting four people last March pleaded not guilty in the death of a woman who died from her injuries months after the shooting.

Johnathan Bertsch's charges were recently changed from attempted homicide to deliberate homicide after autopsy results showed Julie Blanchard died from injuries she suffered in the March 15.

A line of Montana Highway Patrol troopers watched on Thursday as the man who is accused of shooting Blanchard -- and one of their own, Trooper Wade Palmer -- appeared in court.

Bertsch pleaded not guilty to a second homicide charge, which was amended last week to reflect the Julie Blanchard's cause of death. Bertsch had previously pleaded not guilty to a deliberate homicide charge in the shooting death of Shelley Hays.

Bertsch also faces two counts of attempted deliberate homicide for injuring Trooper 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 in Missoula.