Jury convicts driver in East Missoula shooting case

MISSOULA COUNTY

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
POSTED: 4:27 PM Jun 11 2013   UPDATED: 4:47 PM Jun 11 2013
HANNA TRIAL
MISSOULA, Mont. -

After just one day of trial a jury found a Missoula man guilty of driving a getaway car after a robbery and shooting in East Missoula.

Preston Hanna put his head down on the table after hearing he was guilty of accountability for robbery for an incident in September.

Hanna waited in the car for his friend Christopher Burch. Prosecutors say Burch shot the store clerk Adams Gallegos in the back when he went in to steal beer. Gallegos lost a lung and almost died.

The defense argued Hanna didn't know Burch was going to shoot anyone, until Burch came running to the car telling him to drive fast because he shot a clerk.

Burch’s trial is still ahead, but Gallegos told us he’s relieved to have one part of the attack behind him.

“My initial reaction you know, guilty; some closure for the community, my family, my friends, justice as well," said Gallegos.

A sentencing hearing for Hanna is scheduled next month. He could face up to forty years in prison for the crime.

Just a couple of months ago, he backed out of a plea deal when the judge wouldn't go along with a recommended 20-year sentence with 15 years suspended.

Christopher Burch is scheduled to go to trial later this year.