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Old 02-02-2011, 07:07 AM   #1
kentatm
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Default Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- A 13-year-old Jefferson County boy says he knows what he did was wrong, but says it was an accident and he never intended to hurt anyone when he shot his toy airsoft gun at a friend, who was hit in the eye.

His parents say their son deserves to be punished, but believe juvenile felony assault charges go too far.

But the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office says they take many factors into account, and when they decide to file charges it’s because they believe it’s in the best interest of the child.

The 13 year old, Jacob Alspaugh, tells Fox 31 News he and a friend were just messing around with a toy airsoft gun, shooting at each other and shooting at targets like cereal boxes.

When the other boy said something that made Jacob mad, he did what he calls a “quick draw,” and fired the plastic bead. To his horror, he hit his friend in the eye.

“When it happened I felt sick and I kept saying I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” said the teen.

The other boy was treated and is fine with no permanent injuries. Police reports say his family did not want to press charges, and Jacob says he and his friend have made up.

“We just talked a while about me giving him an Xbox 360 and I gave him that one night just as a ‘sorry’ present," Alspaugh said. "He forgave me. He knows I’m sorry, so we’re back to friends.”

But according to police reports, the treating doctor says the plastic bead could have caused serious bodily injury, and the Jefferson County DA’s office is charging the 13-year-old as a juvenile with felony second degree assault charges.

“The judge mentioned if convicted, he has a mandatory five days in detention and he can be removed from my home for up to a year,” said Jacob's father, Craig Alspaugh.

Jefferson County DA Scott Storey says they can’t comment on any specific juvenile case, but he says they take many things into account. They look at school records, and juvenile experts evaluate the child and bring up any psychological or mental health issues. They also consider what might be going on in the home and he says they do what they believe to be in the best interest of the child.

“We really want to give them the resources to make them successful, in the future, at school, at home, with their friends and everything else,” said Storey.

FOX31 News tested an identical airsoft toy gun and fired it at a piece of notebook paper. Sometimes the plastic beads went through the paper and sometimes they bounced off. Firearms expert and former police officer Rich Wyatt says, “It’s a toy, it’s an airsoft gun that can be purchased in any store. You don’t have to be any age to purchase it.” Wyatt says there was a time when parents, not prosecutors handled this kind of accident.

The father says at a court hearing earlier in the week the DA’s office offered his son a plea bargain, reducing the charge to misdemeanor assault. There would be no detention time, but Jacob would go into a diversion program that would provide counseling on a variety of issues. If he stayed out of trouble, his record would be expunged, and his records would remain sealed, as are all juvenile records.

Alspaugh says they are considering the plea bargain, but he worries any kind of plea would result in Jacob being expelled from school, kicked off the football team and further stigmatize him at school.

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Last edited by kentatm : 02-02-2011 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:31 AM   #2
Nachooo
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

I was shot in the eye a few years ago from about 10 feet away.
Accidents happen.


No reason the law should be involved unless there was serious damage done
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:02 AM   #3
bigkingsfan
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

Eye injury matters are not to be taken lightly.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:38 AM   #4
ErhnamDjinn
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

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Originally Posted by bigkingsfan
Eye injury matters are not to be taken lightly.
but if both parties agreed to settle amicably why generate a fuss, there better things to waste time on. Accident is a accident.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

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Originally Posted by ErhnamDjinn
but if both parties agreed to settle amicably why generate a fuss, there better things to waste time on. Accident is a accident.
seriously.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

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Originally Posted by kentatm

Exactly

I'm thinking I'm about to read a horror story. The journalist who kept up with this story needs a hobby.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:10 AM   #7
kentatm
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

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Originally Posted by Captain Kirk
Exactly

I'm thinking I'm about to read a horror story. The journalist who kept up with this story needs a hobby.

This IS a horror story.

A DA is trying to pin a felony on a 13 year old kid for accidentally shooting his friend in the face with a toy gun.

Do you not realize how serious a charge that is?

The boys have made up and are still friends. The parents of the kid that got shot don't even want charges pressed.

This is about a power mad DA that is WAY overstepping his bounds and in all likelihood needs to be removed from office b/c he clearly can't be trusted to make rational decisions.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

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Originally Posted by kentatm
This IS a horror story.

A DA is trying to pin a felony on a 13 year old kid for accidentally shooting his friend in the face with a toy gun.

Do you not realize how serious a charge that is?

The boys have made up and are still friends. The parents of the kid that got shot don't even want charges pressed.

This is about a power mad DA that is WAY overstepping his bounds and in all likelihood needs to be removed from office b/c he clearly can't be trusted to make rational decisions.

Even if the other family/child don't press any charges? How is that legal?
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

I ****ing hate this country sometimes. At what point does a guy like this DA lose touch with reality and reason?
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:16 AM   #10
kentatm
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

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Originally Posted by Captain Kirk
Even if the other family/child don't press any charges? How is that legal?

A district attorney does not need the permission of a victim to press charges. This is especially true in the case of a violent crime which is what he is labeling this.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:13 AM   #11
NastaMaverick
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

I'd take a shot in the eye for an xbox..
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

What a joke. It's a simple accident and everything is fine between them...
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:57 AM   #13
Nelson14
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

hopefully he gets it dropped to at least a misdemeanor if not dropped completly, i can't even imagine haveing a felony on me at 13
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

You highlighted much of the article, but didn't include this:

When the other boy said something that made Jacob mad, he did what he calls a “quick draw,” and fired the plastic bead.

That's when it ceases to be an accident. Kid made a horribly bad snap decision because he got momentarily pissed off. That's how people get killed, beaten, etc. Immature decision making process, not being cognizant of the potential outcome of your actions.

I'd be willing to bet that goes a long way toward explaining why the court thinks the kid needs to go through the process.

I'd also be willing to bet it doesn't end up a felony, but hopefully, the kid is deathly afraid that it will.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:45 PM   #15
Rasheed1
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Default Re: Colorado boy facing felony charges in airsoft gun mishap

I think me & Kent ATm spoke about a similar issue a year or so ago... I said it then and I'll say it again...


POLICE STATE

that's what this place is turning into
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