The 18-year-old Missoula man charged with a convenience store shooting in March pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a series of thefts in January and February that included allegations he twice drove stolen vehicles through the garage door of a medical marijuana dispensary to steal from the business.
Chase Munson is also accused of driving a stolen minivan into the wall of Missoula pipe and smoke store Mellow Mood.
Munson has pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted deliberate homicide from a March 6 shooting at South Avenue Market. In that case, prosecutors said Munson and another man, Ivory Brien, went into the convenience store around 3:45 a.m. Charging documents say Munson shot a customer in the back and head, then shot an employee while Brien used bear spray on the men.
Brien has pleaded not guilty in that case, and was released on pretrial supervision with a GPS monitor in April to live with his parents in Arlee.
The new charges were filed against Munson in early May. According to court records, police were called to The Cure, a medical marijuana dispensary on Ronan Street, on Jan. 30 and found that someone had driven a Toyota 4-Runner through the garage door. A witness said he saw a man carrying a marijuana plant running away from the business.
The owner of the Toyota said he had left his vehicle unlocked with the keys inside. A cell phone registered to Munson was found inside.
Two weeks later, on Feb. 14, officers returned to The Cure and found a different vehicle, a Chevrolet Silverado, had been crashed through the same door and left running inside. A witness said the driver originally crashed into the business next door, backed up and crashed into the dispensary. Security footage allegedly showed the man stealing plastic bags.
On Feb. 19, police were called to Mellow Mood on Higgins Avenue after someone drove a stolen minivan through the wall.
When police searched a dorm room at the University of Montana where Munson often stayed during their investigation of the convenience store shooting, they found a hat matching the appearance of one worn by the person who crashed the Chevrolet into The Cure.
On Tuesday in Missoula County District Court, Munson pleaded not guilty to new felony charges including two counts of burglary, three counts of theft and three counts of criminal mischief.
Munson remains in jail on a $1 million bail. His next court hearing will be July 3.