A Pennsylvania man pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of simple assault and reckless endangerment after shooting his costumed cousin because he thought she was a skunk. Thomas Grant, 25, was sentenced to two years of probation and will pay restitution to the victim’s family.
Grant was originally facing an aggravated assault charge after the October shooting. A judge chose to dismiss that charge. While he serves his probation, Grant’s hunting privileges are revoked, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
According to Grant’s attorney, Steven Valsamidis, the victim’s family was in agreement with the plea and sentencing. He called the incident a “tragic accident,” and added that Grant had no drugs or alcohol in his system on the night of the shooting.
The 8-year-old girl was flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh after the shooting. She underwent surgery for injuries to her spine and internal organs. It has been estimated that she was hit with about 100 bird shots.
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The girl is still under medical supervision. Her name has not been released.