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Petroleum County coroner to lead inquests of 3 Cascade County incidents

Posted: 1:50 PM, Jun 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-23 15:50:57-04

GREAT FALLS — Three coroner inquests are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday to investigate several 2018 officer-involved fatalities in Cascade County, according to a press release obtained by MTN News from the Petroleum County Coroner’s Office.

67-year-old Charles Anthony Marcotte, for whom the first inquest is scheduled, was shot and killed by Great Falls police officers after reportedly brandishing a gun in August 2018.

The situation began when officers responded to a home in the Highwoods Mobile Park for a disturbance. The disturbance reportedly escalated, and police negotiated with him for more than 30 minutes, trying to get Marcotte to put down his weapons. Call logs indicated he had at least two pistols and one rifle.

Shots were exchanged between Marcotte and officers, killing Marcotte.

Inquests are required by Montana law when someone’s death is caused by a police officer. They are conducted by counties other than the one in which the fatal incidents occurred.

The Marcotte inquest is set for 8:30 a.m. at the Great Falls MSU Extension Office at 3300 3rd Street N.E. #9 in Great Falls. Several other inquests are slated for the following day in the same location, according to the media release from Petroleum County.

An inquest for the fatal shooting case of Andy H. Anderson, who died on Aug. 24, 2018, near Great Falls, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, a final inquest will consider a December 2018 incident involving the death of Tracey Johnston, a 46-year-old Great Falls man who was ejected from his vehicle after leading officers on a high-speed chase, resulting in his death.

A deputy with the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office had been called to Vaughn School following a suspicious call (the nature of which was never fully disclosed to MTN News). The officer attempted to stop Johnston’s vehicle, which was located on site. Johnston then tried to ram and throw objects at the deputy’s vehicle. Johnston fled from the scene, engaging the responding officer in a high-speed chase that reportedly reached 100 miles per hour.

Johnston eventually lost control and was ejected from his vehicle, dying on the scene of the crash.

He reportedly had DUI convictions in Hill County as well as a criminal possession of dangerous drugs conviction in Flathead County, according to the Montana Department of Corrections.

R.J. Brown, the Petroleum County coroner, will assume the duties of the Cascade County coroner for this week’s inquests, in accordance with Montana law.