Sep. 22—Jury selection will start next month in the trial of a man charged with shooting and killing a Preston man in 2019.
Francis L. Giannelli, 28, of Glastonbury is charged with murder in the Oct. 26, 2019 shooting death of 35-year-old Robert Thompson of Preston. In July, Giannelli rejected an offer to serve 35 years in prison, opting for a jury trial instead.
Prosecutors allege Giannelli was a passenger in a vehicle when he fired six shots from a .380 semi-automatic handgun into an adjacent vehicle stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of routes 12 and 2A in Preston.
Giannelli told police he thought Randy Deveau, the driver of the vehicle in which Thompson was a passenger, was making a move as if reaching for a gun. He claims Thompson was accidentally hit by a bullet. Police said Thompson was struck in the neck.
A Ledyard police officer pulled Deveau’s pick-up truck over on Route 12 several minutes after the shooting, police said.
The driver of the vehicle that GIannelli allegedly fired the shots from, Michael Soto of Hartford, was later arrested on charges he had a fully loaded, .40 caliber handgun in his Hartford home, within reach of a child.