June 24, 2021

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Montana woman who killed ex-husband after she said he attempted rape has charges cleared

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A Montana woman who fatally shot her ex-husband last year after she said he tried to rape her has been clear of homicide charges.

The charges against 38-year-old Rachel Bellesen were dropped with prejudice, meaning prosecutors would not be able to bring them up again at a later date after prosecutors said in April they would like the possibility to refile the charge. The news of the charges being dropped was first reported by the Daily Beast.

Bellesen admitted to shooting and killing her former husband Jacob Glace on Oct. 8, 2020, but said she shot Glace because he had attempted to rape her that night. She said she met with her ex-husband that day because he threatened to harm one of their children, according to her defense attorney Lance Jasper. 

Bellesen and her current husband, Corey Bellesen, called police shortly after the incident to report what happened, and she was taken to a local hospital. One day later, the county attorney filed charges against her.

Glace was convicted of attacking Bellesen in Washington state in 2004, according to the Associated Press. It was also reported he was charged in two assault charges involving two different women six months before his death.

Before the homicide case, Bellesen was working as a shelter coordinator for the Abbie Shelter, a nonprofit domestic violence resource in Kalispell, Montana.

“Much like Jake tried so hard to do over the course of more than 20 years, the State of Montana again attempted to silence my voice,” Bellesen said in a statement to the Daily Beast. “At the very start they declared me a murderer, claimed I executed an innocent man in cold blood. They took my life, the lives of my loved ones, ripped it all apart with their horrible claims, and then tried to just walk away when they realized that they had no case.”

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.

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