A 23-year-old Gardnerville man who admitted firing into a Gardnerville bar and two other businesses two years ago was ordered Monday to serve 30 days in Douglas County Jail as a term of probation.
District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Bryce Askay to four years in Nevada state prison, suspended, and placed him on four years probation.
Askay pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm at a structure, a felony. He faced up to six years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
No one was injured in the March 25, 2012, incident, which followed a battery on Askay in Nevada Ugly’s bar that resulted in a broken nose.
“This was an aberration. It was alcohol-related,” said Ron Cauley, Askay’s attorney. “He (Askay) has no criminal record and has completely abstained from alcohol since the incident. He understands the gravity of what he did.”
Cauley said Askay was living in a sober environment with his parents, attending Alcoholics Anonymous, and was scheduled for a substance abuse evaluation.
After Gibbons described the plea agreement as “extremely lenient,” prosecutor Erik Levin said he approved the deal because some witnesses had been drinking, as well as Askay.
Levin said he also had trouble getting cooperative witnesses at the preliminary hearing.
Witnesses said the incident was triggered after Askay was escorted out of the bar at 4 a.m. when he refused to leave on his own.
He reportedy told patrons he had a gun in his car, threatening, “Next time I talk to you, you’re going to be dead,” and “I’m going to kill everyone in this bar.”
Witnesses said they didn’t pay attention to the suspect because he was intoxicated, according to reports.
Deputies were called to the bar at 5:30 a.m. after a report of shots fired.
Bullet holes were discovered in the front window of Nevada Ugly, Buckaroo’s Bar and Adaven Hotel. Patrons were in the bar at the time of the incident.
“I hope you realize how fortunate you are that nobody was hurt. Alcohol and guns do not mix. Despite the fact that you were wronged by the punch, you had no right to escalate it,” Gibbons said.”
“I thank the Lord every day,” Askay said.
Gibbons sentenced Askay to jail because of the severity of the offense.
“When you commit an act this dangerous and do it in an intentional way, there has to be some incarceration,” Gibbons said. “This is a minimal jail sentence. There could have been a lot more.”
He gave Askay credit for 15 days in custody.
Askay said he wanted to return to California and work on a fishing boat.
He must get approval from Nevada and California authorities before he relocates.
“It’s hard to supervise somebody on a boat,” said Gail Falconer, state probation specialist.
Gibbons ordered Askay to pay $2,229.27 restitution, abstain from alcohol, controlled substances and other intoxicants, and have no contact with Nevada Ugly’s or Buckaroos’ employees. He must stay out of the establishments.
He may not have firearms, and his parents must keep any weapons in their home under lock and key.
He was ordered to forfeit a .22-caliber rifle.
Gibbons also ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service.