One of two women who led various law-enforcement authorities on a high-speed chase Wednesday that ended with an exchange of gunfire is charged with attempted deliberate homicide.
Roishell St. Dennis, 27, of Missoula is also accused of assault with a weapon. Alta Littlelight-Threefingers, 34, of Crow Agency faces charges of criminal endangerment and assault with a weapon, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Both women were booked Thursday in the Lake County jail in Polson.
The charges stem from an incident that began shortly before noon Wednesday when a Missoula police officer attempted to pull over a black Ford Taurus being driven recklessly in Missoula’s Northside neighborhood. The car, which Lake County Sheriff Don Bell said was driven by Littlelight-Threefingers, sped away toward Reserve Street and onto Interstate 90. The chase continued north on Highway 93, reaching speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.
Missoula officers broke off the chase at the Lake County line, but a Flathead tribal police officer observed a northbound vehicle matching the description from the Missoula pursuit passing in a no-passing zone in the North Valley Creek area north of Arlee.
The officer pursued the vehicle, which Bell said had been stolen in Billings, and was joined by additional tribal, Lake County and St. Ignatius authorities.
The chase continued to north of St. Ignatius, where the Ford left the highway and went onto gravel side roads east of Highway 93.
Near the Ninepipes area, St. Dennis, the passenger in the car, allegedly shot at pursuing officers, Bell said. Littlelight-Threefingers is also believed to have been armed at the time. When the Ford stopped on Eagle Pass Trail, officers shot at the suspects, who surrendered. No one was injured in the either the chase or the gunfire exchange.
Lake County Undersheriff Ben Woods said charges connected with the stolen car are pending until more information is received from Billings.
St. Dennis has an active felony case in Missoula for theft and obstructing a peace officer. According to court records, she was arrested in July after a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper responded to a crash near the Conoco bulk plant in Missoula.
The officer found that the car St. Dennis was driving had been reported as stolen. She told the trooper she had borrowed it from a friend to transport methamphetamine, according to court records. The owner of the vehicle said St. Dennis took it to get cigarettes and never brought it back.
St. Dennis was released after posting a $20,000 bond in October. She stopped showing up for court in mid-November, and prosecutors sought an arrest warrant but were denied. St. Dennis had a court hearing set for Wednesday afternoon, and an arrest warrant was issued after she did not appear.
Littlelight-Threefingers was on parole from the Montana Department of Corrections after serving time for a variety of felony convictions dating back to 2007. Her sentence expired in October.