A woman from Mountain View pleaded guilty to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action and received a 20-year sentence Thursday in Texas County Circuit Court. 

Mistie D. Vance, 34, was charged in the death of Monty Beltz, 56, who was found wounded in the abdomen in his yard as he returned to his Highway Y residence in spring 2010. Vance earlier had been charged with first-degree murder. She had been set to go to trial next month.

Senior Judge John Wiggins sentenced her to 15 years on the voluntary manslaughter count and a consecutive five-year sentence on the armed criminal action, according to court records. She is allowed one visit by her two children before she is sent to jail.

Beltz’s brother arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting, disarming Vance who fled into the woods with another man. The sibling contacted authorities, which sparked a manhunt in the southern part of the county. Monty Beltz was flown from the scene to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, where he later died.

Texas County Sheriff Carl Watson said both were waiting for Beltz. He identified Vance as the shooter. According to a court filing, “Evidence shows Miss Vance shot Mr. Beltz and then backed his pickup up to where he laid in the yard. Miss Vance reloaded her weapon and was going to shoot Mr. Beltz again when she was interrupted by a Beltz family member.”

Vance, who court documents say confessed to the crime, was familiar with the victim. Vance told authorities she went to the home to retrieve some items and obtain some of Beltz’s prescription medication. The statement was confirmed by man who also was on the scene, according to court documents.

The two waited for the victim to come home, according to the man, who said Vance put two shotgun shells in her pocket and walked toward the house to obtain the prescription drugs. A fight ensued between Vance and Beltz for an hour and later extended to the residence’s lawn. According to a court document, the man said he saw Vance walk backwards, telling Beltz “not to make her do it.” Moments later, Vance shot Beltz, he told lawmen.

Both fled the area. The man turned himself into Mountain View police, and Vance was arrested on an Arroll doorstep.


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