State Moves To Dismiss Murder Charge In Domestic Killing

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — The state of Montana has filed a motion to dismiss a deliberate homicide charge against a domestic violence victims’ advocate in the shooting death of her ex-husband. But prosecutors want to leave open the possibility of refiling the charge.

Rachel Bellesen was charged in the Oct. 8, 2020, death of Jacob Glace after she reported she shot and killed him when he tried to rape her. Bellesen was convinced to meet her ex-husband because he had threatened to harm one of their children, defense attorney Lance Jasper has said.

Jasper said he plans to seek a dismissal without the right to refile at Bellesen’s next court appearance in Sanders County on May 25.

The motion to dismiss the charge, without prejudice, was filed on April 9. Jasper said he offered to turn over the entire defense case in exchange for a guarantee prosecutors would agree to drop the matter if charges had not been refiled within a year. That offer was refused, he said.

Kyler Nerison, a spokesperson for the Montana Attorney General's Office, told the Flathead Beacon the state wants to leave open the option to refile the charge because it is still waiting for the results of forensic tests.

Glace had a history of domestic violence, including a conviction for attacking Bellesen in Washington state in 2004, court records said. In the six months before his death, he was charged with partner or family member assault cases in Mineral and Sanders counties involving two different women.

Bellesen is the shelter coordinator for the Abbie Shelter, a nonprofit domestic violence resource in Kalispell.