Casper Man Gets Probation After Evidence Debunks Felony Charges
A review of evidence showed a Casper man committed a misdemeanor instead of four felonies related to allegedly pointing a gun at people in September.
James Young was sentenced to one year probation with credit for time served for reckless endangering during a change of plea hearing before Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey on Wednesday.
Forgey asked Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer and defense attorney Curtis Cheney why they recommended probation for the misdemeanor when Young was originally charged with two counts of aggravated assault and battery by way of a drawn deadly weapon, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to threaten the life of another.
Cheney said the incident occurred Sept. 2 at the Loaf 'N' Jug store on North McKinley Street when a woman, whose initials are E.H., demanded a ride from Young. She initiated the argument, was intoxicated and aggressive.
Young added the woman spit on him, tried to tear off his shirt and would not let him leave the parking lot. He retrieved a semi-automatic handgun from his pickup and pointed it at her.
The initial police reports said the clerk inside the store said she saw the argument, locked the doors, called police, saw the gun, took cover, saw Young put the gun to the victim’s head, and saw him pointed the gun at her as he was leaving.
When interviewed, Young claimed self defense. He added that he had a very bad temper and would not hit a woman, but did say he would shoot the victim in the knees and leave her in the parking lot. He had not been drinking, either.
In October, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The subsequent investigation demonstrated Young's innocence of the felony counts.
The outside surveillance video showed Young acted in self defense, which meant one aggravated assault and one possession of the firearm with the intent to threaten the life of another had no merit.
The inside surveillance video and the recording of the 911 call also showed Young did not point the gun at the clerk, which meant the other two felonies had no merit, either.