A 38-year-old man was sentenced to just less than 19 years in prison on Wednesday for shooting a gas station clerk in 2019.
Darren Samuel Whiteman pleaded guilty in November to robbery affecting commerce and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Whiteman robbed the Gas-N-Go store on the 800 block of Jackson Street in Billings on Nov. 24, 2019.
After demanding the 25-year-old store clerk open the cash register, saying it was a robbery, Whiteman shot her in the forearm, U.S. District Judge Susan Watters said.
The woman did not testify Wednesday but submitted a statement to the court saying she now suffers night terrors and panic attacks and often feels she cannot go places alone.
Watters sentenced Whiteman to 225 months in prison, or 18 years and nine months.
It was what Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Rubich recommended, while Assistant Federal Defender Gillian Gosch asked for 15 years, or 180 months, in prison.
The guideline range called for 205-225 months in prison.
There was a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison on the firearm charge, which by law had to run consecutively to the time on the robbery charge.
Rubich read a list of Whiteman’s criminal history, which included a home break-in in which one of Whiteman’s co-defendants fired a handgun near a woman. An 18-month-old child was also in the home.
The Gas-N-Go shooting took place just one month after Whiteman was released from Montana State Prison on the break-in case.
His arrest came after a roughly four-hour standoff with law enforcement at a Billings home.
“You are a danger to the community. There’s just no doubt about it,” said Watters, the judge.
Whiteman spoke briefly, saying: “I’d just like to apologize for what I did.”
Watters also ordered Whiteman to serve five years of supervised release after the prison time, and to pay $120 in restitution to the store clerk.
Watters said the restitution covered the cost of the pants and shoes she was wearing at the time.