53 year-old Joseph McNamara was found guilty in Ravalli County District Court on Friday on all counts for the hit and run death of 9 year-old Robert Leonardi in July of 2019.

Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright provided details on the trial’s outcome.

“Mr. was convicted on negligent homicide for the hit and run death of 9 year-old Robert Leonardi last July 7th,” said Fulbright. “He was also convicted of four other felonies, including endangering two other motorists as he fled the scene, possession of methamphetamine and tampering with evidence during the flight.”

Fulbright provided more details of the case.

“Evidence at trial this past week we had almost 30 witnesses,” he said. “There was a number of members of the community who initially responded at the time of the crash and there was large number of law enforcement and actually community members involved in the manhunt that found him about six hours later as he was trying to get friends to help him leave town.”

Fulbright detailed more of the facts that were revealed at McNamara’s trial last week.

“The evidence at trial showed that this two-lane road that’s a 35 mile per hour road just south of Hamilton here, McNamara was traveling excessively fast in excess of 60 miles per hour and actually struck Robert doing 55 miles per hour having skidded for 30 feet prior to impact, and then skidded for almost a football field after impact.”

Fulbright explained McNamara’s sentence.

“The combination of the felony crimes has a maximum of 45 years in prison,” he said. “We certainly will be asking for that, in addition for a parole restriction to limit his ability to apply for parole for quite some time. He is 60 years old at this point with a significant criminal history and long drug abuse history, he just does not need to have the possibility of doing this to another child.”

Fulbright said McNamara will be sentenced to the Montana State Prison on August 24, and will remain in the Ravalli County Detention Center without the possibility of release until that date.

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