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Man gets 100 years, 30 suspended for East Missoula shooting

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:07:02 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 19 2013 05:42:33 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A man who pleaded guilty to shooting an East Missoula store clerk was sentenced to 100 years in the Montana State Prison, with 30 years suspended.

Christopher Lee Burch, 23, pleaded guilty in September to felony charges for attempted deliberate homicide and robbery.

Burch went into Ole's convenience store in East Missoula in September 2012 to rob the store. When clerk Adam Gallegos told Burch the safe was empty, Burch shot him in the chest and fled the scene with a friend who was waiting in the car.

Gallegos suffered severe injuries and lost a lung. Only this year was he able to return to work at a new job.

In Missoula County District Court Thursday, Gallegos told Judge Ed McLean he still has trouble breathing and suffers from panic attacks.

McLean handed down the partially suspended sentence. 

Earlier this year Judge McLean sentenced the getaway driver, Preston Hanna, to 20 years in the Montana State Prison. Hanna is currently appealing his case with the Montana Supreme Court.