NewsCrime and Courts


Vehicular homicide charge after pedestrian dies in Gallatin County

Michael Leo Moreno has been charged
Posted at 12:29 PM, Oct 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 17:41:02-04

Michael Leo Moreno of Manhattan is facing charges after allegedly hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle, then filing a false report to cover up the incident.

Moreno, 35 years old, is charged with vehicular homicide, tampering with physical evidence, and failing to remain at the scene of an accident with a deceased person.

Moreno's car allegedly hit and killed a 76-year-old Manhattan man on Saturday on Stagecoach Trail Road. The name of the victim has not yet been released.

According to court documents, at around 6:40 p.m. on Saturday, Gallatin County dispatch received a report of a suspicious vehicle in the 5000 block of Churchill Road. The person said the occupants of a blue Chevrolet Impala threw a case of beer out of the vehicle. The vehicle's windshield was also reportedly shattered.

At around 7 p.m., Moreno called 911, claiming he and his passenger, Daniel Sifuentes, were victims of a carjacking. Moreno reportedly said they had picked up a hitchhiker who held a gun to Moreno's head and stole the vehicle.

As law enforcement officers were interviewing Moreno about the alleged carjacking, deputies responding to a missing person report located the body of a man on the side of Stagecoach Trail Road, west of Heeb Road.

Court documents say deputies detained Moreno and Sifuentes for further questioning, given the circumstances. The two men reportedly confessed to striking the man with the car, filing a false report, and getting rid of beer and marijuana that was in the vehicle.

Moreno allegedly also admitted that he knew he shouldn't have been driving, given how much he had to drink. Court documents say deputies eventually found Moreno's vehicle, and it matched the description given in the suspicious vehicle report.

Bond for Moreno was set at $100,000, and if he posts bail, he must wear a monitoring device. Moreno has a recent DUI conviction in Belgrade, and was sentenced in January 2018 for that.

Daniel Sifuentes, the passenger, appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday. He is being held on $25,000 bond. Sifuentes is charged with a felony obstructing justice. His next preliminary appearance is scheduled for October 25.