Shooter pleads guilty to manslaughter shortly before trial in Wandermere drive-by case, sentenced to 20 years

<p><p>A man who killed a woman in a drive-by shooting in 2019 was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday, the same day his murder trial was set to start.</p></p><p><p>Jonathan Andersen, 34, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for the 2019 shooting that killed Misty Hirsch.</p></p><p><p>Hirsch was shot and killed blocks from the Wandermere Golf Course in July 2019. Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/jul/07/wandermere-shooting-victim-hospitalized-with-life” target=”_blank”>arrived on scene minutes</a> after the shooting was reported, and Hirsch was taken to the hospital but later died.</p></p><p><p>Andersen was arrested the next day. The shooting was over a stolen purse, according to <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/jul/09/stolen-purse-may-be-motivation-in-weekends-fatal-d” target=”_blank”>court documents filed shortly after Andersen’s arrest.</a></p></p><p><p>Hirsch had returned the purse to Andersen, <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/jul/09/stolen-purse-may-be-motivation-in-weekends-fatal-d” target=”_blank”>which he told police</a> belonged to his passenger then later said belonged to his fiancée “Nicole.” Andersen then followed Hirsch up to Wandermere where he shot her from his car.</p></p><p><p>Andersen was charged with first-degree murder along with two counts of attempted murder, multiple counts of drive-by shooting, along with unlawful possession of a firearm and witness tampering. His trial was set to begin Monday afternoon but at the last minute Andersen reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.</p></p><p><p>In exchange for dropping other charges, Andersen pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and will serve a recommended sentence of 240 months or 20 years in prison.</p></p><p><p>The standard sentencing range for the offense with Andersen’s criminal history ranged from 17 years, six months to 23 years, four months. </p></p><p><p>Prosecutor Dale Nagy told the court many of the witnesses in the case were drug addicts, like Andersen, making the case difficult.</p></p><p><p>“The amendment is based solely on witness difficulties in this matter,” Nagy said.</p></p><p><p>At sentencing, Hirsch’s mother declined to speak to the court, through a victim advocate, saying the case being resolved today hit her rather hard. Nagy noted two of the woman’s daughters had died by violent crime, the third died in a car wreck, and her husband had also recently died, making this an extremely difficult time for her.</p></p><p><p>Hirsch, identified in her <a href=”https://stevensonfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/misty-hirsch-age-38-of-miles-city” target=”_blank”>obituary</a> as Blackfeet and Salish, is survived by two sons, one an adult and the other a teenager.</p></p><p><p>Andersen’s attorney, Karen Lindholdt, said Andersen has “a lot of family support,” despite his significant criminal history that includes multiple felony convictions since 2005.</p></p><p><p>Lindholdt said she believes the plea agreement is a fair resolution for everybody.</p></p><p><p>“The facts in the case were messy,” Lindholdt said, adding all parties involved were addicts at the time of the shooting.</p></p><p><p>Andersen will be at least 50 years old before he’s eligible for release, meaning he will miss the entirety of his 2-year-old son’s childhood, she said.</p></p><p><p>The manslaughter charge is Andersen’s second strike, meaning if he were to commit another violent offense, Andersen would automatically be sentenced to life without parole.</p></p><p><p>Judge Maryann Moreno said the case was “complicated,” but she appreciated the resolution.</p></p><p><p>“You have taken responsibility for taking a life,” Moreno said before following the recommended sentence of 20 years.</p></p>