Armed robber gets jail time

by Scott Shindledecker
Daily Inter Lake | June 17, 2020 7:20 AM

A Columbia Falls teenager with a criminal history recently was sentenced earlier this spring to serve time in a Montana Department of Corrections facility for an armed robbery he committed last year.

Connor Jesse Waggener, 19, received a five-year sentence from Flathead District Judge Amy Eddy. He received credit for 260 days served. He’s been lodged in the Flathead County Detention Center since Aug. 8, 2019,

Waggener pleaded guilty to one felony count of assault with a weapon Feb. 23. A felony count of robbery was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

According to the criminal complaint against Waggener, a man called the Columbia Falls Police Department Aug. 7, 2019, to report the crime.

The victim, who was working at Domino’s Pizza, said while he was on a work break he got into a car with Waggener. Waggener pulled out a handgun, “cocked” the hammer, placed it against the side of the victim’s face and demanded money from the victim.

Waggener then took money and a backpack from the man before striking the victim with the barrel of the gun and pushed him out of the car near the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 12th Street West.

When Waggener was just 17, he was accused of stealing a sandwich from a grocery store in January 2018 and assault with a weapon in February 2018 when he allegedly chased his brother into the backyard of a Kalispell home while carrying a kitchen knife.

On the same day the sandwich theft occurred, Waggener’s grandparents reported him as a runaway. They said he left their home Jan. 8, 2018, and they had not heard from him. They also said he had run away in the past.

In May 2018, Waggener received a six-month deferred sentence on the assault charge.

Waggener later ended up in the Missoula County Juvenile Detention Center after violating terms of his probation and because the Flathead County Jail doesn’t house juvenile inmates.

Waggener was also accused of being involved in an armed robbery in Missoula in August 2019 a few days before the Columbia Falls robbery, according to a story in the Missoulian.