Johnston sentenced for criminal endangerment; Hansen sentenced for casino robbery
Kenneth B. Johnston was sentenced on Wednesday for a shooting that happened last May. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, Johnston pleaded guilty to felony criminal endangerment and tampering with evidence. Charging documents say the May 17th incident at the Gold Nugget Casino began during a confrontation at the casino parking lot where a woman accused Johnston of damaging her vehicle earlier that day. Witnesses say Johnston pulled a semi-automatic pistol and began shooting at the victim and in the air. One witness near the victim said he could hear bullets going past him. Investigators found 9 spent .40 caliber bullet cases in the casino parking lot. Johnston left the area shortly afterwards, dropping the handgun in the grass at a school bus stop on Cedar Street. The weapon was recovered the next day by Helena police. Judge Mike Menahan sentenced Johnston to 20 years with the Department of Corrections, with 15 years suspended.
Judge Mike Menahan sentenced Thomas J. Hansen on Wednesday to five years in the state prison for robbery and burglary. Prosecutors say Hansen was one of two suspects who held up the Best Bet Casino at gunpoint on July 23rd. Hansen allegedly pointed a gun at a casino clerk, demanding cash from the till and the clerk’s wallet. Hansen was seen in District Court on Wednesday via video from the Montana State Prison. He has convictions for forgery, distribution of dangerous drugs, and is currently serving time for possession of dangerous drugs.