A 21-year-old Helena man is accused of brandishing a firearm at his romantic partner.
Justin James Belgarde is charged with felony assault with a weapon, felony tampering with witnesses and misdemeanor partner or family member assault (first offense).
On June 10, law enforcement responded to a residence to speak with a woman who wanted to report a partner/family member assault. The woman, identified as the victim and the defendant's partner, told officers about an incident that had occurred a few months prior.
The victim told law enforcement that on April 4, she and the defendant were involved in an argument. She reported that Belgarde retrieved a handgun from his vehicle and pointed it at her and then at himself. The victim said she believed the defendant was going to shoot her.
On the night of this incident, multiple neighbors called dispatch to report the disturbance. At the time, multiple officers responded to the residence. The defendant allegedly told the victim to not let law enforcement in and to say he wasn't there. The victim said she believed he hid the firearm in the kitchen.
The victim initially denied that anyone else was in the house, but officers saw the defendant in the kitchen and asked him to step outside. Neither the defendant nor victim reported anything involving a firearm on the night of the incident.
During the June interview, the victim told police she felt she needed to protect the defendant because he had full custody of two of his children.
On June 8, the victim reported an additional assault. She said she was laying in bed following an argument when the defendant threw items at her including a clothes hamper, which struck the victim in the head.
The defendant agreed to be interviewed. He denied the firearm incident, but contradicted his own story during the interview. He denied throwing the clothes hamper at the defendant in June.
All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty