ESCANABA - An Escanaba man was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail for accidentally shooting a friend in the face this summer. The victim survived the gunshot wound.
The judgment was handed down in Delta County Circuit Court where Judge Stephen Davis said the incident was "a pure accident" but also "a huge wake-up call" for the defendant.
Prior to being sentenced, Andrew Robert Maynard, 27, said he wanted to apologize to the victim and the victim's family, as well as his own family.
Maynard was ordered to spend six months in jail and was given credit for 72 days already served on one count of careless discharge of a weapon causing injury or death. He was also sentenced to 72 days in jail and given credit for 72 days served on one count of use of a controlled substance.
Maynard was arrested on July 29 following investigation into a shooting incident earlier that night at a motel on the 1500 block of North Lincoln Road, according to Escanaba Public Safety.
Maynard and two other people were in the room when Maynard accidentally discharged his gun, shooting his 20-year-old friend in the face. The victim was taken by ambulance to OSF St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba then transferred to Marquette General Health System. He has since recovered.
During Tuesday's sentencing, Maynard's attorney, Donald Lemire, said his client was on the drug Suboxone at the time of the incident and the defendant knows how fortunate he is for not killing another human being.
"He did not intend on committing a crime," Lemire added.
Prosecuting Attorney Steve Parks said, when the shooting was reported, he was concerned it may have been more than an accidental discharge of a gun. Investigation revealed the shooting was a careless use of a firearm and that there was no intent to hurt someone, Parks noted.
"It was a serious and tragic accident," said Parks, adding the victim made "a remarkable recovery."
Judge Davis said the incident was "a huge wake-up call" for the defendant because of how close he was to killing someone during the accidental discharge.
When the judge asked Maynard why he had a gun, he replied he wanted to exercise his right to bear firearms and wanted to carry a gun in case he had to defend himself.
In addition to the jail term, Maynard was ordered to pay a total of $978 in fines and costs on both counts. He will be placed on probation for 18 months during which time he cannot possess a gun or have contact with the victim. He was also ordered to pay restitution to be determined at a later date.