NewsCrime and Courts

Actions

Jonathan Bertsch to undergo further mental health evaluation

Jonathan Bertsch June 26
Posted at 11:28 AM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 13:28:58-05

MISSOULA — Jonathan Bertsch is being transported to the Montana State Hospital in Warms Springs Montana for further mental health evaluation.

Bertsch pleaded guilty in June to shooting Shelley Hays, Julie and Casey Blanchard, and Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer in March of 2019.

Palmer and Casey Blanchard were critically injured and continue to recover from their injuries. Shelley Hays died at the scene while Julie Blanchard later died due to the shooting injuries.

Missoula District Court received a second report from a doctor who examined Bertsch’s mental health status and determined further examination in the state facility was needed.

The doctor repeated statements that previous doctors had made including Bertsch was “unwilling” to participate in the process.

The doctor also said in a recommendation that “Mr. Bertsch should complete the competency restoration and remediation program offered by the State Hospital to restore his fitness to proceed in his legal case.”

Court documents state that the examination period should not exceed 60 days.