Hannan was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 16 on charges of attempted murder after firing a handgun at his wife’s vehicle as she tried to leave their home following an argument.
A man who fired a gun at his spouse as she was attempting to flee their home in her vehicle was sentenced at the Siskiyou County Courthouse on Aug. 22. Judge John Lawrence sentenced the shooter, 80 year old Donald Hannan, to five years of felony probation and 364 days in county jail.
Hannan was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 16 on charges of attempted murder after firing a handgun at his wife’s vehicle as she tried to leave their home following an argument. The victim, Elaina Hannan, drove to Mount Shasta Police Department and was taken to Mercy Medical Center, although Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said preliminary reports indicated she was not injured as a result of the assault.
Donald Hannan was inside the Michele Drive home when a Sheriff’s deputy arrived, resulting in a short standoff before Hannan surrendered voluntarily, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
In addition to attempted murder, Hannan was also charged with discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle.
In a statement she read in court, Elaina Hannan explained that she and Donald met in 2008 at her place of work and became friends after he began coming in during each of her shifts. “Don told me that summer that he had been diagnosed with cancer and that he would be undergoing a surgery to remove the tumor. He asked if I would be interested in a caregiver job to help him recover. Afterwards, there were so many complications that I became his full-time, live-in caregiver. After some time he began to have romantic feelings, and we started a loving, caring relationship in 2009,” she said.
The couple married in June of 2016. Elaina said that she and her autistic son lived with Donald for about a year before Donald “began to be irrational and jealous” of her son. Due to her husband’s behavior, she said, “I decided to move back into my mobile home with my son but continued to care for my husband every day while still being a full time mom to my autistic son.”
Elaina said she eventually told Donald that she was having feelings for another man. She alleged that Donald was “so understanding” and told her it was okay, and even allowed her to go on a date with the man. Until the morning of the shooting incident, she alleged that she hadn’t observed that her husband had any “anger issues.”
Elaina recounted the morning of the incident in court, stating, “There was no warning signs. I just awoke to Don sitting up with his arms crossed. I asked him if he was alright and he replied with an angry voice saying, ‘What do you think?’ So I said ‘Do you want me to leave?’ He replied, ‘You are already gone!’”
After grabbing her things and running out the door, Elaina said, “As I started up the Jeep he fired the first shot. I was totally caught by surprise and sunk down as far as I could and hit the gas. I ended up in the field across the street. The second shot went to right by my ear and glass was flying all around me. He kept shooting at me until I was out of range.”
The victim described that the event “totally traumatized” her and left her scared and jumpy. She told Judge Lawrence, “Until January 15, Don trusted me and I took care of everything and all his needs from his sick cat to paying bills, shopping, cleaning, laundry, yardwork, firewood, cooking and basically everything he needed ... Since the day I met Don I have wanted nothing but the best for him. That still applies today even though he tried to kill me. Saying that, I ... wonder what would’ve happened if Don would have succeeded in killing me or crippling me for life? My family would’ve had to bury me or push me around in a wheelchair.”
“If Don doesn’t go to jail, I will be in fear for my life,” Elaina told Lawrence, adding, “It wouldn’t be right or just if Don is allowed to resume his life as if nothing has happened.”
District Attorney Kirk Andrus noted that Donald Hannan said he shot at his wife because he found out on the morning of Jan. 16 that she was in a relationship with another man, though the victim testified that she had told him of the relationship months before and that they were never intimate during their marriage.
Andrus detailed that the evidence at the hearing showed that Donald initially shot at the tire of his wife’s vehicle and flattened it. He then shot multiple additional times, with one bullet hitting the passenger side door, one hitting the passenger headrest and going through the windshield right in front of his wife’s face, and one bullet hitting the Jeep rollbar just above her head. “She had to duck down in the Jeep or she likely would have been hit,” Andrus added.
Andrus said that Donald Hannan’s attitude on the stand was “mildly defiant, barely apologetic, and defensive.” He noted that Hannan’s lawyer had to ask him four times to apologize.
Though the Siskiyou County Department of Probation recommended a five year prison sentence for Donald Hannan – citing that he was a high risk to reoffend based on an evidence-based test the department applies – Lawrence stated that he believed the general aims and objectives of sentencing could be accomplished with a probationary term.
According to the California Rules of Court, those objectives are:
• Protecting society
• Punishing the defendant
• Encouraging the defendant to lead a law-abiding life in the future and deterring him or her from future offenses
• Deterring others from criminal conduct by demonstrating its consequences
• Preventing the defendant from committing new crimes by isolating him or her for the period of incarceration
• Securing restitution for the victims of crime
• Achieving uniformity in sentencing
• Increasing public safety by reducing recidivism through community-based corrections programs and evidence-based practices.
Donald Hannan is also prohibited from coming within 100 yards of Elaina Hannan or entering the complex where she lives.