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The accomplice who pepper-sprayed a Missoula convenience store employee and a customer during a March armed robbery in which both victims were also shot pleaded guilty last week after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Ivory Brien, 19, originally was charged with two felonies for accountability for deliberate homicide in connection with the March 6 incident at the South Avenue Market. The plea agreement changed those charges to a felony for conspiracy to commit robbery, as well as a pair of assault misdemeanors.

Brien pleaded guilty to the new charges Thursday before Cascade County District Court Judge Gregory Pinski in Great Falls. Pinski was brought in to oversee the Missoula case after Brien’s attorneys filed to have Missoula County District Court Judge John Larson replaced, and the other local judges declined to take the criminal case.

A sentencing date has not been set. Missoula County prosecutor Mac Bloom said Pinski wanted to take time to decide whether to come to Missoula or have the sentencing hearing in Great Falls.

Another man, 18-year-old Chase Munson, also is charged in the case, and  faces two counts of attempted deliberate homicide.

Brien and Munson were accused of going into the store around 3:45 a.m., with Munson allegedly shooting a customer in the back and head with a .22-caliber revolver, then shooting an employee in the shoulder. At the same time, Brien used pepper spray on both men. Both victims survived the shooting.

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Munson is scheduled to go to trial on his homicide charges on Oct. 3. He remains in jail on a $1 million bail.

He is also charged in a separate case for a series of alleged thefts in January and February that included accusations that he twice drove stolen vehicles through the garage door of the same medical marijuana dispensary to steal from the business. He is also charged with driving yet another stolen vehicle into the wall of a Missoula pipe and smoke supply store. That case is currently set for trial in late November.

Brien has been out of custody since early April when he was released on supervision, including a GPS monitor, to live with family in Arlee.

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for the Missoulian.