Murder victim identified, bond set at $750,000 for accused Helena man

Prospect Washington.JPG
Posted at 5:27 PM, Jun 24, 2024

HELENA — Lewis and Clark County Sheriff and Coroner Leo Dutton has released the name of Friday's homicide victim in central Helena.

Bernadette Johnson, 42, of Helena died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Johnson was shot in the area of Prospect Ave. and North Washington Street around 9:30 p.m.

According to Dutton, Johnson was transported to St. Peter's Health. She was pronounced dead at 10:02 p.m. on June 21.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information about the victim.

Original story: A Helena man is charged with deliberate homicide after he allegedly fatally shot a woman Friday evening.

In Lewis and Clark Justice Court Monday a judge set Helena resident Kenneth William Greene’s bond at $750,000.

According to court documents, police were dispatched Friday evening to the area of Prospect and North Washington for reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found a woman in the driver’s seat of her SUV with a gunshot wound to her chest.

Officers and firefighters attempted lifesaving care but the woman, whose identity has not been released, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Prosecutors say witnesses told investigators that a man matching Greene’s description had pulled his car in front of the victim’s, exited the vehicle, and then fired into the victim's SUV, before fleeing the scene. Police were able to identify the vehicle Greene was driving, saying it was registered to both the suspect and the victim.

Greene was taken into custody early Saturday morning at Morrison Park north of Walmart, where police also recovered a handgun. Court records say Greene and the woman had previously been in a relationship and that Greene had allegedly previously talked about hurting her.

In court Monday prosecutors told the Justice of the Peace that Greene has a lengthy criminal past including six violent felony convictions. If convicted, Greene faces a minimum of 10 years in prison up to life.