Wanton Endangerment with a Shotgun
News reports recently covered a developing story about a man arrested in a Louisville shooting. In addition to the assault charge for the wounding of another man, he’s now charged with five (5) counts of wanton endangerment.
In a previous post, I listed the various charges related to a homicide. Wanton endangerment is a lesser charge because, as in this case, the victim didn’t die as a result of the shooting.
What Is Wanton Endangerment?
There are two levels of Wanton Endangerment to consider in Kentucky. Under Kentucky law there is Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree (a Class D felony). A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.
Wanton Endangerment in the Second Degree (a Class A misdemeanor). A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the second degree when he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of physical injury to another person.
In this shooting, the man reportedly fired a handgun through the door of the apartment and the next day he returned to fire a shotgun through same door. Based on these facts, one could argue that the shooter should be charged with Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree. The discharge of a firearm has long been considered Wanton Endangerment of some degree, depending on case specific facts.
To complicate the situation, the shooter is a convicted felon. According to the law, felons are not allowed to own or possess a firearm. It appears this man has had a least two firearms in his possession.
As a Louisville criminal defense attorney, I’d have to move quickly to formulate an effective defense. After his arrest, the man admitted he was involved in the shooting. Obviously, an argument that the shooting was in self-defense wouldn’t apply. In this case, the approach may be to avoid focusing on guilt and begin attacking the technicalities to enable a plea deal resulting in a lighter sentence.
It turns out that the shooter is also being held at Louisville Metro Corrections on charges related to another incident. All I can say at this time is whoever represents the man is going to have a lot on his/her plate.
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Louisville or the surrounding counties, seek the advice of a serious defense attorney. Your rights and your freedom are at stake.
Link to news story: