Murder charge filed in Molt slaying; defendant’s note asked forgiveness

2009-11-12T11:25:00Z 2010-10-28T22:30:18Z Murder charge filed in Molt slaying; defendant’s note asked forgivenessGREG TUTTLE Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
November 12, 2009 11:25 am  • 

A Molt man accused of shooting his neighbor left a note for police before his arrest, according to charging documents filed Thursday.

But a motive for the slaying of Michael Blattie, the son of a former Stillwater County commissioner, remains unclear.

“I can’t take the guilt,” Jeffrey Lynn Hardman allegedly wrote in a note found by investigators. “God save me and Mike please. I hope Mike’s family can forgive me.”

Hardman, 48, is charged with deliberate homicide for the Oct. 15 shooting death of Blattie. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Stillwater County District Court.

According to an affidavit filed by County Attorney John Petak, someone called 911 on Oct. 15 and requested an ambulance at 2180 Molt-Rapelje Road, where Blattie lived. Emergency medical staff and sheriff’s deputies who arrived found Blattie dead on the front porch of his house. Blattie had been shot in the abdomen, the affidavit states.

Authorities investigating the incident initially described Blattie’s death as suspicious, and few details of the circumstances of the shooting have been released.

The charging documents reveal what may have led investigators to arrest Hardman, but offer little insight into a possible motive.

Petak declined Thursday to elaborate on the circumstances of the shooting.

Court records state that investigators found a threatening voice message on Blattie’s cell phone that had been left the day of the shooting. The message originated from Hardman’s nearby residence, and Hardman allegedly admitted leaving a similar message on Blattie’s phone.

After obtaining a search warrant for Hardman’s house, investigators said they found a note signed by Hardman. Hardman was arrested Oct. 30, a day after the search of his house. He remains in the Yellowstone County jail on a $2 million bond.

Investigators also spoke to a witness, according to court records, who said Hardman stated that he was involved in the shooting of Blattie and “had been lying to authorities about what actually happened.”

The witness also said Hardman admitted that he “was in possession of a firearm when the victim was shot,” court records state, and only Hardman and Blattie were present at the time of the shooting.

Petak declined to comment on whether Hardman made a claim of self-defense before his arrest.

Blattie, 33, was the son of a former Stillwater County commissioner, Harold Blattie, who is now the executive director of the Helena-based Montana Association of Counties.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Billings Gazette

Popular Stories

Get weekly ads via e-mail

Deals & Offers

Featured Businesses