Conner Hanson Murder Trial Began Thursday Morning

Defense Attorney Jeff Larson argued the shooting of Anthony Gabriel was an act of self-defense

The trial for a Sioux Falls teen charged with murder began today.

Conner Hanson faces both murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of 18-year-old Anthony Gabriel.

The prosecution says the incident in January 2015 began at a party, and then spilled over into a car chase that ended near the mpire mall.

Opening statements began Thursday in the murder trial of Conner Hanson.

Defense attorney Jeff Larson argued that the shooting of Anthony Gabriel, was an act of self-defense due to the fact that Gabriel was chasing Hanson, who was the passenger in a car driven by Robert Montes, for more than 6 miles.

However, Minnehaha Deputy State’s Attorney Randy Sample says there’s no way it could have been self-defense since Hanson was wearing a mask, later described as a bandanna, and that Hanson fired 4 shots, with one striking Gabriel’s temple.

Gabriel’s girlfriend, Olivia Brust, was a passenger in the car the night of the shooting.

She testified that they were chasing Hanson and Montes’ car when Gabriel reached for his gun after he saw the other car had a gun.

She said that’s when the car jerked left toward Empire Mall, and she heard 2 clicks. She then told the defense attorney “I thought he shot himself.”

Robert Montes, who is also facing murder and manslaughter charges, also testified, saying he and Hanson “put bandannas over our faces to conceal our identity.”

Shortly after, he said he saw Hanson pick up his pistol and load it.

He then heard a gunshot.

Robert Montes also told the court room Hansen and himself left to Marshall, Minnesota the day after the incident to “run away.”

The two were found in Marshall and arrested.

The trial will continue Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.