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Jun 16, 11:09 AM EDT

Great Falls woman pleads not guilty to homicide


GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) -- A Great Falls woman has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide in the death of a 69-year-old woman who was helping her with some maintenance at her home.

The Great Falls Tribune reports (gftrib.com/2sABzji) 44-year-old Pamela Jean Courtnage also pleaded not guilty Thursday to theft for reportedly stealing the woman's purse and pickup truck.

The woman's body was found in Courtnage's backyard on May 27. She has suffered trauma to her head and her neck had been cut. Courtnage was arrested later that day in Missoula County.

A judge has ordered Courtnage to undergo a mental health evaluation.

The Cascade County attorney's office has not released the name of the victim, citing concerns that Marsy's Law gives the victim's family a right to privacy. The constitutional amendment doesn't go into effect until July 1.

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com

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