NewsCrime and Courts


Trial date set for Arlee man charged in March shootings

Johnathan Bertsch
Posted at 3:23 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 20:18:08-05

MISSOULA — An Arlee man charged with two shootings in March that killed one man, and critically wounded three others, including a Montana Highway Patrol trooper, is set to go to trial this summer.

Johnathan Bertsch's trial is set for Aug. 17 in Missoula District Court. It's scheduled for 10 days.

The first shooting happened March 14 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 died from her injuries in June in a Chelan County, Washington hospital were she died of complications of multiple gunshot wounds.

Missoula County prosecutors are reviewing those coroner reports before amending charges.

Bertsch is currently charged with one count of deliberate homicide and three counts of attempted deliberate homicide.