Jury selection in the murder trial of a 28-year-old South Glastonbury man accused of carrying out a fatal drive-by shooting in Preston three years ago – a crime the defense says has possible connections with rival outlaw motorcycle gangs – ended this week.
The final slate of 12 jurors and four alternates who will decide the fate of Francis Giannelli was set on Tuesday in New London Superior Court, weeks after the selection process began on Oct. 4.
Giannelli is accused of fatally shooting 35-year-old Preston resident Robert Thompson from a vehicle at the intersection of Routes 12 and 2A on Oct. 26, 2019. The evidence portion of the trial is slated to begin on Nov. 30.
Giannelli in July rejected a plea deal that called for him to serve 35 years in prison. He faces a maximum sentence of 65 years if found guilty on all counts he faces: murder, criminal use of a weapon and carrying a pistol without a permit.
Police said Giannelli confessed to shooting at Thompson after the two argued at Mohegan Sun Casino, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Police said Giannelli, who was in a 2010 Mercedes C300 owned by Hartford resident Michael Soto, used a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun in the shooting, a weapon he did not possess a pistol permit for.