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The 19-year-old man accused of pepper spraying an employee and customer at a Missoula convenience store while another man shot them last month will be released on pretrial supervision after pleading not guilty to his charges on Thursday.

Ivory Brien is charged with two felonies for accountability for deliberate homicide from the March 6 incident.

In the case, he and 18-year-old Chase Munson are accused of going into the South Avenue Market convenience store at around 3:45 a.m. Munson is charged with shooting a customer in the back and head with a .22-caliber revolver, then shooting an employee in the shoulder. Brien is accused of pepper-spraying both men before he and Munson fled. Both the employee and customer survived the shooting.

Brien’s attorney Reed Mandelko told Missoula County District Court Standing Master Brenda Desmond on Thursday that after the incident, his client talked with his parents, and law enforcement came to their home in Arlee to arrest him.

“He essentially turned himself in,” Mandelko said.

Brien has been in jail on a $1 million bail since his arrest, but Mandelko asked Desmond to release him onto pretrial supervision to live with his parents in Arlee. Brien was screened for the program and recommended for release.

Deputy County Attorney Mac Bloom opposed the request, saying Brien represents a danger to the public and had no regard for the victims in the case.

“They didn’t assist the victims, or call for help. They just left them there, ostensibly to die,” Bloom said.

The store employee who was shot also made a statement, saying he thought Brien was a public danger, and didn’t think that was outweighed by Brien’s family and community ties.

“I don’t think he needs to be out at all,” he said.

Desmond, however, granted the release onto supervision, adding restrictions that included Brien wearing a GPS monitor and having a set schedule of when he could leave his home.

“You need to understand if you violate pretrial supervision you will go back to jail and you won’t get out again until this case is concluded,” she told Brien.

She also said that unless Brien has a court matter, he cannot come to Missoula, and will be on drug monitoring. Bloom said Brien was using Xanax and drinking during the night of the shooting, and has other drug addiction issues, including cocaine.

Munson, Brien's alleged accomplice, pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted deliberate homicide on Tuesday. Although he also qualified for pretrial supervision release, the head of the program did not recommend him, citing among other issues the serious nature of the charges. Munson remains held on a $1 million bail.

No further court hearings have been set for Brien because his attorney filed a motion for a new judge to preside over the case.

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for the Missoulian.