NewsCrime and Courts


Montana Supreme Court affirms decision on Crites case

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 19:26:14-04

HELENA – Justices on the Montana Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling denying Connie Crites access to the investigative file on her brother’s death.

In May of 2011, John Michael Crites’s neighbors Dennis Shaw, John Mehan and Katy Wessel had sued him after he allegedly threatened them.

Crites went missing that June.

His dismembered body was discovered near MacDonald Pass in October of 2011.

The case remains unsolved.

After his death, his sister Connie was appointed control of his estate.

Last year Crites’s estate requested the investigative file from Lewis and Clark County to defend itself from the lawsuit filed in 2011 and to use as part of a civil wrongful death action suit.

But the County said it couldn’t release the file over concerns it could jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

A district court judge agreed, and the request was appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.

The Montana Supreme Court justices decisions was unanimous.