A Michigan man recently appeared in a Saginaw County court on several charges related to a December incident in which he allegedly fired gunshots at four women. The initial charges included four counts of assault with the intention to commit murder, felony assault, concealed weapon possession, committing a felony while carrying a firearm and possessing a firearm while being a habitual felon. However, all the weapons crimes were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea to three counts of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm other than murder.
At an earlier preliminary hearing, a woman testified that she was driving a borrowed car on a December evening when another car passed close enough to cause that vehicle to strike the side mirror on the driver's side of the woman's car. The woman apparently followed the other car and when both cars ultimately stopped, the woman reportedly recognized the driver of the car that had struck hers. The two then became involved in an argument about who was responsible for paying for the broken mirror.
The woman drove back to the home of the friend from whom she borrowed the car. The owner of the car and the woman who struck the mirror then reportedly exchanged social media messages about the payment. When the car owner, the friend who drove the car earlier and two more women drove down a local street later, they claimed to have observed two men and two women standing next to another car, and as they passed, two gunshots were allegedly fired at them. One of the shots struck the passenger side mirror. A police trooper reportedly identified the defendant on Facebook, standing next to the car from which the alleged shots were fired, and the two empty shell casings were apparently recovered from the scene.
The guilty plea that was negotiated by the defendant might ultimately lead to a sentence of not much more than six years, rather than the possible 15 years for the initial charges of weapons crimes. This may underscore the importance of being represented by experienced legal counsel who can protect an accused person's legal rights and advocate on the client's behalf during plea negotiations. As this case moves forward to sentencing, an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney can work on determining mitigating circumstances to present to the court in pursuing a less severe sentence.
Source: mlive.com, "Man pleads to shooting at group of women on Saginaw's West Side", Andy Hoag, Oct. 22, 2015