Sunday, May 30, 2021

Followup MT: Rachel Belleson has Murder Charges Dropped Pemanently

A judge in Sanders County, Montana, on Tuesday dropped deliberate homicide charges against a woman who killed her abusive ex-husband, in a surprising win for advocates who argued she should not have to live with the threat of prosecution hanging over her.

Rachel Bellesen, a 38-year-old coordinator at the Abbie Shelter for domestic violence survivors, shot and killed her former husband, Jacob Glace, on Oct. 8 of last year. Bellesen admitted to the shooting but said she did so because Glace, who had pleaded guilty to assaulting her years earlier, had twice attempted to rape her that night.

Prosecutors moved to drop the charges against Bellesen without prejudice last month, claiming they needed more time to review the results of forensic tests. But advocates from the Abbie Shelter argued the charges should be dropped with prejudice, meaning prosecutors would not be able to bring them again at a later date. “An injustice has been done,” shelter director Hilary Shaw told The Daily Beast at the time. “And the right thing to do is to fully vindicate Rachel.”

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