Glastonbury man charged with murder in Preston drive-by shooting

Crime

PRESTON, Conn. (WTNH)– A motorist who witnessed a drive-by shooting in Preston early Saturday morning may have been key in leading investigators to 25-year-old Francis Giannelli, of Glastonbury.

Related: Police identify victim in fatal drive-by shooting in Preston

He now faces a murder charge in the death of 35-year-old Robert Thompson, of Preston.

“Detailing the accounts of the incident and providing the investigators with some information that definitely assisted,” said Josue Dorelus, who said the witness also provided a license plate number. “Correct.”

According to court papers, the witness says he saw the pick up truck Thompson was riding in and the 2010 Mercedes Giannelli was riding in stopped at the light on the Mohegan Pequot Bridge, which is at the corner of Routes 12 and 2a.

He heard five to seven gunshots coming from one car to another and then later saw the Mercedes make a U-turn and speed by his car.

Police tracked down Giannelli who later turned himself into police.

“The accused was able to provide us the accounts of what transpired prior to this incident,” said Dorelus.

Giannelli claims while at the Comix Roadhouse in Mohegan Sun he saw Thompson taking pictures of him with his cell phone. After exchanging words a couple of times, Giannelli said the victim and the man he was with both made a gun gesture with their fingers before driving off.

He says they met up again at the traffic light and when he saw the driver move his hand down from the steering wheel, Giannelli said he shot six times emptying his gun.. and he probably shouldn’t have shot him.

He never saw a gun but claims it was in self defense.

Thompson died from a gunshot wound to his neck. Giannelli has no prior criminal convictions.

His bond was kept at one million dollars and he was put on a mental health watch and a suicide watch.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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