Woman Accused of Killing Her Two Children Pleads Not Guilty
34 year-old Leannah Gardipe, the mother accused of murdering her two children on November 19, was officially arraigned in Missoula District Court before Judge Jason Marks at 9:00 a.m. on Monday.
Marks spoke directly to the defendant at the arraignment on two deliberate homicide charges.
“I'll just go over the charges and potential penalties to make sure you understand those,” said Judge Marks. “You're charged with two counts of deliberate homicide, a felony. Each count is punishable by not less than 10 years or more than life in prison, and those counts could potentially be run consecutively to each other. So your maximum penalty you're facing is two consecutive life sentences.”
Judge Marks then addressed the defendant.
“You understand the nature of the charges against you and the maximum possible penalty?” asked Judge Marks.
“Yes, your Honor,” she replied.
“Am I correct that you're going to be pleading not guilty this morning,” he asked.
“Yes, your Honor,” she said.
“Not guilty pleas are ordered entered,” he said.
Judge Marks then inquired of the prosecution and the defense about a date for an omnibus hearing for the defendant.
“I’m setting an omnibus this manner for Tuesday February 8 at 1:30 in the afternoon in front of Judge Deschamps,” he said. “Anything else either party needs to address on this case this morning?”
“Not from the defense,” said the defense attorney.
“No, your Honor,” said Deputy County Attorney Brian Lowney.
On November 22, Judge Alex Beal set bail at an unprecedented $10 million, the highest bail ever set in a Missoula courtroom, according to Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst.
Lowney told KGVO News on Monday morning that the matter of Ms. Gardipe’s bail was not addressed, so she remains in the Missoula County Jail on $10 million bond.