UPDATE: Missoula Stabbing Suspect Charged With Deliberate Homicide
On January 24, 2022, at around 1:19 am, Missoula Police Department Officers responded to a residence on 1st Street W for a male reporting he had been stabbed. Court documents indicate the male told dispatch that his girlfriend had stabbed him. The male said he had just woken up in bed and realized he had been stabbed.
Responding officers knocked on the door to the apartment and received no response. Officers then forcibly entered the apartment by kicking in the front door. Officers could see blood droplets on the linoleum floor as they entered.
Moving further into the apartment, officers could see blood droplets and smears in the kitchen area continuing into the living room. A body was lying on the living room floor, and officers approached to check for signs of life. The female was deceased and was covered in blood.
An officer observed visible stab wounds to the female’s face and chest. A knife could be seen in the female’s hand. The officer noted that the knife sat perfectly upright in the female’s hand and did not appear to be held in a manner consistent with how someone would typically hold a knife. Officers noted the blood on the body appeared to have dried, and the female was stiff and cold to the touch.
Officers then proceeded into a hallway leading to two bedrooms and a bathroom. Officers noted multiple blood spatter and smears marks in the hallway, bathroom, and on the door leading to the back bedroom. Upon entering that bedroom, Officers made contact with a male later identified as Jacques Bernard.
An officer knew from prior calls that Bernard and the female were in an intimate relationship. Bernard was lying on his back in the bed and was showing his hands to officers as they entered the room. A pink kitchen knife and a cell phone were lying on the bed with him. Bernard had obvious knife wounds to his neck and arms, and he was not able to move on his own. Medical personnel later identified further knife wounds to his torso.
Bernard made statements to responding officers saying he had the knife in bed with him for his protection. Bernard also said he had taken multiple Percocet and had passed out. Bernard said he had then awoken to discover that he had been stabbed, prompting him to call to 911. Bernard was treated on scene by responding medical personnel and transported to a hospital for further treatment.
An MPD Detective subsequently responded to the scene. He inspected the home and body. He observed multiple cuts in the clothing worn by the female including multiple stabbing type wounds to the upper chest, arms, and right shoulder. He also noted a deep laceration to the inside of her right hand that nearly severed some of the female’s fingers.
Further examination of the torso revealed approximately ten stab type wounds into the upper chest. He saw lacerations to the outer side of the lower arms indicative of defensive type wounds. He further observed a circular mark on the female’s left hand that appeared similar to a bite mark.
The detective moved through the rest of the house noting blood tracks, smears, and droplets in the hallway, bathroom, and northeast bedroom. Upon entering the northeast bedroom, he noted a lack of blood near the head of the bed, specifically where Bernard’s torso and head would have been. The blood patterns on the sheets indicated a brushing type of smear and not a pooling of blood that would have indicated someone had lain there sleeping for an extended period of time.
While on scene, an officer attempted to speak to neighbors in adjoining units. The neighbor directly next to the apartment advised him that she heard arguing coming from the suspect apartment at around 5:30 am the previous day, roughly 20 hours before the 1:15 am 911 call placed by Bernard.
At approximately 6:41 am on January 24, 2022, coroner Scott King conducted an examination of the female. He roughly estimated the female’s time of death to be 20 to 30 hours prior to the examination. This timeframe is consistent with when neighbors heard arguing coming from the apartment the day prior. Additionally, this timeline significantly predated Bernard’s call to 911, possibly by as much as a full day.
Bernard is currently being charged with felony deliberate homicide. This case was filed directly into District Court and Bernard's bail was set in the amount of $1,000,000.
As of Friday afternoon, Bernard was still being treated at a hospital. He has not been medically cleared to be transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility.
This information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.