Judge rejects plea deal, trial set for man accused of driving getaway car


MISSOULA, Mont. - A Missoula man is scheduled to go to trial after a judge rejected his plea deal.

Preston James Hanna is accused of driving the getaway car for a friend who allegedly shot and almost killed a store clerk last September.

Hanna originally pleaded guilty to felony accountability to robbery. But Wednesday he changed his plea back to not guilty when the judge wouldn't accept a plea deal of 20 years in prison with 15 suspended for the crime.

Hanna allegedly drove away from the crime scene last September when Christopher Burch allegedly went into Ole's in East Missoula, shot an employee and left leaving the man seriously injured.

That victim, Adam Gallegos, spoke to the court.

"My family is very, very torn up. The community in East Missoula is very tore up about it," Gallegos said. "And -- me personally -- there is no forgiveness in this case."

The judge wanted to sentence Hanna to 20 years in prison, none of it suspended, for driving the car but Hanna wouldn't take it. Instead a trial's been scheduled for July.

The man accused of shooting Gallegos is scheduled to go to trial as well.

NBC Montana will keep you updated.

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