BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Wyoming man has been sentenced to 25 years in the Montana State Prison for a series of robberies and carjackings committed in Billings on one night in September 2018.
Ryan Glenn McElmury, 42, of Cody, Wyoming was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison with 15 years suspended after earlier pleading guilty to multiple felonies that included stealing five cars, threatening several people at gunpoint and leading three law enforcement agencies on a pursuit in and outside of Billings.
Officers twice fired shots at McElmury during the chase, Police Chief Rich St. John said at the time.
During an hour of mayhem, McElmury broke into a car dealership, then shot out a window of a nearby business and stole a pickup truck that had the keys inside the cab. He veered toward a police officer while driving the pickup, and the officer fired several shots that hit the pickup's driver's side.
He eventually crashed the pickup into a tree, broke into a nearby home and demanded the keys to a car at gunpoint. He drove that car for a distance before stealing a third vehicle at gunpoint, this one from now District Judge Colette Davies.
Davies said footage of the encounter showed that after McElmury forced her out of her sport utility vehicle and she stood up before McElmury drove off. Several feet behind her, an officer had his weapon drawn and was ready to fire, she said.
“I don't know if you know this, but I saved your life,” Davies told McElmury during Friday's sentencing hearing, The Billings Gazette reported.
After rolling over spike strips in Davie's car, McElmury stole a car from a woman at a nearby convenience store. He rolled that vehicle, went to another property and stole a car next to a house. Three officers fired shots, frightening the family of four sleeping inside.
McElmury drove the vehicle through a horse shed and into a duck pond, where he finally surrendered to officers.
A debt to a person who threatened his family drove him to commit the initial burglary, McElmury said. However, he said that did not excuse the rest of his actions. He apologized to the victims who testified.
He was ordered to pay $35,300 in restitution.