Montes Sentenced Maximum Amount For His Role In The Death Of Anthony Gabriel

Robert Montes pleaded guilty in August to being an accessory to a felony

 A Sioux Falls teen who took a plea deal with prosecutors following a shooting death near the Empire Mall was sentenced this afternoon.

Robert Montes pleaded guilty in August to being an accessory to a felony in the death of 18-year-old Anthony Gabriel last January.

This was before his co-defendant, Conner Hanson, was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges.

But today, the judge stated that because Montes knew that was a possible outcome of Hanson’s trial, she honored the plea agreement.

Montes was sentenced to five years in prison with 361 days credited. 

“We’re glad that he got his five years, at least the judge didn’t decide to give him a break on that,” says Gabriel’s cousin Brian Johnson on his reaction to the sentencing. 

It all started on the night of Jan. 29, 2015.

A car chase over “bad blood with ex-girlfriends” ended near Empire Mall when Hanson, sitting in the passenger seat of Montes’ car, fatally shot Gabriel. 

“What bothers me is that in the evening of that night, the last thing my son saw was his friend’s car, and for someone to fire at him,” says Gabriel’s dad David Gabriel. 

While Hanson was found not guilty by a jury for his role in the shooting, Montes’ sentencing had a different outcome. 

“I feel no sympathy for him,” says Johnson. “He knew better than that. We have pictures of him on Facebook playing basketball with Anthony. The next thing you know he’s driving a vehicle that is going to shoot and kill him?” 

The Minnehaha County Judge said she considered multiple factors in this case, including the fact that Montes was driving the vehicle that Hanson shot Gabriel from, and it was Montes’ gun that Hanson fired; so she decided to keep the maximum sentence under his plea deal. 

“As mad as I am at Robert, I told him I wouldn’t wish this kind of pain on him,” says David. “We’ve got a whole in our heart bigger than this courtroom.”

In the courtroom on Tuesday, Montes asked for the chance to talk directly to Gabriel’s family to apologize. But before he could get any words out, Gabriel’s mother and other family members stopped him saying “they will never forgive him for taking Anthony away from them.”

Under Montes’ plea agreement, the state dropped murder and manslaughter charges.

Montes also had to testify for the state during Hanson’s trial.

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