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Montano denied bail reduction

A Wisconsin man accused of murdering his uncle in Carlton County appeared for his omnibus hearing at the Carlton County Courthouse Monday afternoon able to talk. James Montano had been assaulted in jail, which resulted in his jaw being wired shut at his previous hearing.

Montano, 32, is charged with murder in the second degree of Andrew Gokee, 57. He is also charged with premeditated attempted murder in the first degree and assault in the second degree.

Montano arrived at his father Michael Montano’s residence at 4020 Kari Rd., Sawyer, on April 21. While at the residence, Montano allegedly shot his uncle in the head and inflicted a superficial gunshot injury on Gokee’s son, Hudson Gauther, 38. Gokee later died from his injuries.

His public defender, Nicole Bettendorf-Hopps, asked Judge Leslie Beiers to reduce Montano’s bail from $500,000.

She also explained they are waiting for evidence to return as well as the crime scene to be released so they could see it.

“We still need to get a lot of stuff together,” Bettendorf-Hopps said. She added that she would send a list to the Carlton County Attorney’s office.

Assistant County Attorney Michael Boese spoke against reducing Montano’s bail.

“He killed one person and injured another. He is an extreme risk to the public's safety,” Boese said. “He is also a flight risk, as he doesn't live in the area; he lives in Wisconsin.”

Beiers did not reduce his bail.

A continued omnibus hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. July 30 at the Carlton County Courthouse to review any evidence.