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Missoula woman pleads not guilty to killing her two children

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Leannah Gardipe

Leannah Gardipe

A Missoula woman pleaded not guilty Monday morning to accusations that she killed her two young children last month.

Leannah J. Gardipe, 34, is charged with two counts of deliberate homicide. If convicted, she faces a maximum of two life sentences.

She appeared in Missoula County District Court for her arraignment with her defense attorney, Benjamin Darrow. He requested a hearing be set two months out, citing the nature of the case and evaluations that need to be done.

On Nov. 19, Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported homicide on Patty Ann Drive near Reserve Street. 

In the initial 911 call, Gardipe’s mother said she had been on the phone with Gardipe, who told her mom she had “saved her babies,” possibly referring to her two young children, according to Missoula County charging documents.

When Gardipe’s mom asked her if she meant she killed her two young children, Gardipe started crying.

Shortly after, Gardipe called 911 herself, wanting “to report a murder” and saying her mom should be calling too and that “I just told her.”

Gardipe told dispatchers the incident happened that morning with a knife in her bedroom. She indicated she was waiting for law enforcement to arrive and asked medical services to be sent, charging documents said. When deputies entered the house, they found the two children, ages 3 and 5, deceased. They also found a knife under the bed. 

Gardipe is being held on a $10 million bond at the Missoula County jail. Her attorney did not request a bond modification hearing. A hearing was set for Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m. before Missoula County District Court Judge Robert Deschamps.


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