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Montana man sentenced for hit-and-run death of 9-year-old

Posted at 7:38 AM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 09:38:09-04

HAMILTON - Hamilton resident Joseph McNamara was sentenced this week to 55 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

McNamara, 60, was found guilty in June for the death of 9-year-old Robert Leonardi, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident in July 2019.

McNamara was found guilty of negligent homicide, two counts of criminal endangerment, tampering with evidence, and possession of methamphetamine. Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright also noted McNamara's lengthy criminal history in Pennsylvania.

Fulbright said at the hearing on Tuesday, Leonardi's parents read very emotional statements about the loss of their son to a packed courtroom.

This sentencing hearing was originally set for next week, but Fulbright asked to move it up so the parents could be present as classes at Corvallis High School, where they both teach. Those classes begin next week.

RELATED: Court documents reveal details of fatal hit and run in Hamilton