The 18-year-old Missoula man charged with shooting an employee and a customer in a Missoula convenience store last month pleaded not guilty during a hearing Tuesday.
Chase Munson is charged with two counts of attempted deliberate homicide in the March 6 incident at the South Avenue Market. Prosecutors say he shot a customer in the back and head, then shot an employee in the shoulder. He entered his pleas on the charges during an arraignment before Missoula County District Court Judge Karen Townsend.
Munson’s codefendant, 19-year-old Ivory Brien, is charged with two counts of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide. He is scheduled to appear at an arraignment hearing on Thursday. Since their arrests, both Munson and Brien have remained in the Missoula County jail, each on $1 million bail.
According to charging documents and a prosecutor on the case, Munson and Brien went into the convenience store around 3:45 a.m.. Munson is accused of shooting the two men inside with a .22-caliber revolver, while Brien allegedly used pepper spray on the employee and customer.
Court records state that Munson, Brien — who is a University of Montana student — and another man went to the Days Inn hotel near the airport the day after the shooting, with Munson allegedly telling people he planned to flee to Mexico.
Munson was arrested at the hotel, while Brien, who is from Arlee, was arrested by Flathead tribal police, court records state.
In court on Tuesday, Munson’s attorney Ed Sheehy said while his client qualified for pretrial supervision release, a pretrial officer wouldn’t accept him based on his belief that Munson was a danger, and other factors. Sheehy asked Townsend to overrule the pretrial officer’s decision, but she declined.
Munson’s next court hearing is May 15.