Evergreen Woman Convicted of Murder Released on Parole

Justine Winter was released on Nov. 20, six years after she drove head-on into another vehicle killing both occupants

By Justin Franz

The Evergreen woman who drove head-on into another vehicle on U.S. Highway 93 in 2009, killing a pregnant 35-year-old woman and her 13-year-old son, has been released on parole.

Justine Winter, 22, was released on Nov. 20 after completing a pre-release program in Billings, according to the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole.

Winter was 16 years old in March 2009 when she got into a fight with her boyfriend and later that night deliberately drove her car across the centerline of U.S. Highway 93 north of Kalispell, crashing into another vehicle, driven by 35-year-old Erin Thompson, who was pregnant at the time. Thompson and her son, 13-year-old Caden Odell, were both killed in the crash.

In February 2011, Winter was found guilty of two counts of deliberate homicide. She was later given two concurrent 30-year sentences with 15 years suspended on each.

Winter first applied for parole in 2014 but the board denied her request. She reapplied this year and got approval from the board in September. Winter is expected to move to Missoula area.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.