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Investigation continues in Whitefish homicide case

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Feb 04 2013 01:48:38 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 04 2013 06:08:49 PM MST
WHITEFISH, Mont. -

New information tonight from Whitefish Police on the shooting that sliced through Saturday night's quiet in Whitefish.

42-year-old Whitefish resident Ordean EngeBretson was found dead on the living room floor of a home just blocks from downtown. His girlfriend, 37-year-old Katherine Lanegan, said she shot him several times in the torso with her pistol.

Police Chief Bill Dial tells NBC Montana that EngeBretson and Lanegan had been drinking at the Winter Carnival before they went back to his home on Colorado Avenue.

"It was obviously a domestic dispute that turned violent," said Dial. "And after conferring with the County Attorney's Office [we] made that decision yesterday afternoon after we went in and did some investigation that would pretty much confirm our suspicions."

Dial is talking about releasing Lanegan on her own recognizance after taking her into custody.

"Some of the indications, and I want to emphasize that, point that it might have been self defense. And that's part of the reason why we released her," Dial explained.

"When things like this occur it isn't where you live, it's domestic violence," said Colorado Avenue resident Amanda Melnick, "and most times it just gets out of hand. And unfortunately there were guns involved."

Police say Lanegan used her own handgun to shoot Odie. His friends didn't want to talk on camera, but they said he was kind, loved to laugh, and didn't have a bad bone in his body. Just the same, Dial said he had several DUI's, but friends argued Odie was trying to get his life back on track.

For now, Lanegan is free, but the investigation isn't over.

"If down the road things turn up and indicate that our suspicions/investigation were incorrect than we have the option to go back and charge her," concluded Dial. "But right now its an ongoing investigation."