Preston Rossbach Murder Trial Underway in District Court
18 year-old Preston Rossbach is on trial for murder in the Missoula District Courtroom of Judge Leslie Halligan.
Rossbach is charged with deliberate homicide, assault with a weapon, intimidation and tampering with witnesses and informants.
In her opening remarks to the jury, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jordan Kilby laid out the facts of the case.
Megan McLaughlin and Jason Flink were shot and stabbed at the Mountain Valley Inn Motel on October 18, 2018.
One of Kilby’s first witnesses on the stand was Missoula police officer Jay Gillhouse, who said he received the call to respond to the motel when he was just a half a block away, and was one of the first officers on the scene. One of his responsibilities was to photograph the crime scene inside the motel room.
He described some of the photos to Kilby as the jury looked on.
“This is Ms. McLaughlin as she was found laying on the floor,” said Gillhouse. “She’s leaning up against a suitcase rack. Mr. Flink is laying down on the floor and he has a vaping pen in his hand. That’s the puddle of blood that I initially saw when I finally realized that he wasn’t just passed out on the floor.”
Another man, Kaleb Williams, was shot and stabbed but survived the ordeal.
Officer Gillhouse identified a photo of Williams at the scene.
“Mr. Williams’ hand is visible as he is laying on the bed, and there is a shell casing right next to his hand,” he said. “A shell casing was on the floor in the corner behind a chair near Ms. McLaughlin and there was blood on the chair straight ahead from the door. There was another shell casing in between Ms. McLaughlin’s feet.”
Rossbach’s public attorneys initially attempted to have his trial moved out of Missoula County, however that request was denied, as was their request to have him tried in youth court.”
Testimony continues in Missoula District Court.
His co-defendant Jonathan Whitworth will be tried separately.
Both men remain jailed on $250,000 bond.