Man says he shot ex’s boyfriend
A 44-year-old Topaz Ranch Estates man faces up to six years in prison at his sentencing Jan. 28 after he admitted Tuesday he shot and wounded an acquaintance with a .22-caliber rifle loaded with birdshot.
Gary Wesley Wilson pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon. He told District Judge Tod Young that he was reacting to a call from a former girlfriend that the victim — whom she was dating — was beating her.
Wilson admitted firing the rifle as the victim attempted to drive away. He said he broke out windows and fired into the victim’s vehicle, and into the air as the man tried to escape.
“I got an emergency phone call (from the woman), and went about it the wrong way,” Wilson said.
The victim suffered shoulder wounds, but has recovered.
In an agreement with the district attorney’s office, Wilson pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon. Originally, he was charged with attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon following the July 11 incident in Topaz Ranch Estates.
The original charge carried a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
“A good friend of mine — I lived with her and she helped me out at a tough time — she said her boyfriend (the victim) was beating her quite a lot. He has a record,” Wilson said.
The victim had injuries to his left shoulder and the back of his neck. Authorities recovered the weapon, a Henry lever-action .22-caliber rifle. Wilson turned himself in July 12 after a 26-hour search by law enforcement personnel.
On Tuesday, Wilson’s attorney, Jamie Henry, asked that Young lower his $250,587 bail, or release him on his own recognizance.
She said Wilson’s only prior criminal arrest was 20 years ago, and that he had family support and ties to the TRE community.
Wilson has been in custody for 159 days.
“He’s not going to fail to appear,” Henry said.
She added that his former employer, Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District, would like to rehire him if a position was available.
“He would like to prove he is a good candidate for probation,” Henry said.
Prosecutor Maria Pence said she was concerned about public safety, and asked that bail not be lowered.
“I don’t believe the risk has been eliminated,” Pence said.
She said although Wilson’s prior arrest was 20 years ago, it was for a similar offense.
“He used a shotgun to fire four times into a residence,” Pence said.
Young refused to lower Wilson’s bail, and set sentencing Jan. 28.
Both sides are free to argue. Pence said she intended to seek prison time.
Wilson is eligible for probation.