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Trial set for woman accused of slayings, firing at officers

Posted: 4:21 PM, Jan 14, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-14 17:21:08-05
April Marie Montello-Roberts Troy Peterson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A February trial has been scheduled for a woman charged with the shooting deaths of two men and the attempted murders of two law officers in western Iowa.

Pottawattamie County court records say April Montello-Roberts, 44, of Shenandoah, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder of an officer, one count of burglary and one of robbery. Her trial is set to start Feb. 18 in Council Bluffs.

Montello-Roberts helped her boyfriend, 28-year-old Troy Petersen, of Essex, in the robbery and killing of 52-year-old Jerrot Clark last August, prosecutors have said. Days later, the pair escaped after a Council Bluffs officer tried to pull over their pickup truck.

They then randomly approached 51-year-old Steven Carlson’s home with a plan to take a hostage to use as leverage to escape police. Petersen instead shot and killed Carlson, authorities said.

The pair later crashed while fleeing from officers who reported being shot at. Petersen was shot dead in the wrecked truck by an officer who said he saw Petersen hold a handgun to Montello-Roberts’ head.