A man who killed a woman in a drive-by shooting in 2019 was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday, the same day his murder trial was set to start.
Jonathan Andersen, 34, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for the 2019 shooting that killed Misty Hirsch.
Hirsch was shot and killed blocks from the Wandermere Golf Course in July 2019. Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene minutes after the shooting was reported, and Hirsch was taken to the hospital but later died.
Andersen was arrested the next day. The shooting was over a stolen purse, according to court documents filed shortly after Andersen’s arrest.
Hirsch had returned the purse to Andersen, which he told police belonged to his passenger then later said belonged to his fiancée “Nicole.” Andersen then followed Hirsch up to Wandermere where he shot her from his car.
Andersen was charged with first-degree murder along with two counts of attempted murder, multiple counts of drive-by shooting, along with unlawful possession of a firearm and witness tampering. His trial was set to begin Monday afternoon but at the last minute Andersen reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.
In exchange for dropping other charges, Andersen pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and will serve a recommended sentence of 240 months or 20 years in prison.
The standard sentencing range for the offense with Andersen’s criminal history ranged from 17 years, six months to 23 years, four months.
Prosecutor Dale Nagy told the court many of the witnesses in the case were drug addicts, like Andersen, making the case difficult.
“The amendment is based solely on witness difficulties in this matter,” Nagy said.
At sentencing, Hirsch’s mother declined to speak to the court, through a victim advocate, saying the case being resolved today hit her rather hard. Nagy noted two of the woman’s daughters had died by violent crime, the third died in a car wreck, and her husband had also recently died, making this an extremely difficult time for her.
Hirsch, identified in her obituary as Blackfeet and Salish, is survived by two sons, one an adult and the other a teenager.
Andersen’s attorney, Karen Lindholdt, said Andersen has “a lot of family support,” despite his significant criminal history that includes multiple felony convictions since 2005.
Lindholdt said she believes the plea agreement is a fair resolution for everybody.
“The facts in the case were messy,” Lindholdt said, adding all parties involved were addicts at the time of the shooting.
Andersen will be at least 50 years old before he’s eligible for release, meaning he will miss the entirety of his 2-year-old son’s childhood, she said.
The manslaughter charge is Andersen’s second strike, meaning if he were to commit another violent offense, Andersen would automatically be sentenced to life without parole.
Judge Maryann Moreno said the case was “complicated,” but she appreciated the resolution.
“You have taken responsibility for taking a life,” Moreno said before following the recommended sentence of 20 years.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.