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Montana woman accused of killing her 2 children appears in court

Missoula Deaths Nov. 19
Posted at 4:44 PM, Nov 22, 2021

MISSOULA, Mont. — A mother is facing murder charges for the deaths of her two young children appeared in a Missoula courtroom on Monday afternoon.

Leannah Gardipe, 34, is accused of killing them with a knife at their Missoula home Friday morning.

Leannah Gardipe
Leannah Gardipe of Missoula was sentenced for the stabbing deaths of her 3-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son on November 20, 2023.

She is expected to undergo a mental evaluation before her next hearing, set for Dec. 6.

Judge Alex Beal ordered Gardipe to be held on a $10 million bond.

“I do not know exactly what or why what happened here did, but I think that you are the greatest risk to the community and additionally to yourself," Judge Alex Beal said. "There is no amount of bail that you could post where you could be safely released from jail, so my job is to set an amount that you have no possible hope of posting.

He added that he set her bond at $10 million because he assumed that "this is a number you have no possible ability to make."

Missoula County Sheriff deputies responded to a home on Patty Ann Drive Friday just after 8 a.m. for a report of a homicide.

In charging documents, Gardipe's mother called 911 to report that her daughter had called her and that Gardipe said she "saved her babies."

She asked the defendant if that meant she had killed her children and the defendant began crying.

A few minutes later, Gardipe called 911 and said she "want(ed) to report a murder.

Gardipe told 911 that the event happened that morning and that it occurred with a knife.

The defendant asked to send medical. In charging documents, Gardipe told 911 that "I was supposed to die today."

Sheriff deputies found the children in their beds with knife wounds and defensive marks on their hands.

Law enforcement executed search warrants on the home where they found a note at the threshold of the bedroom where the children were found that read," [i]t was the only way that we all wouldn't burn, now I'm the only one of us that will." Deputies recovered the knife underneath the bed.

Gardipe is currently being held in the Missoula County Detention Facility.

Melissa Rafferty at KPAX first reported this story.