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Man gets 18 months for pellet gun shooting

September 14, 2000

Man gets 18 months for pellet gun shooting



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


Introducing a firearm during a June 1999 shouting match led to an 18-month jail term for the shooter Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Jamie Hiler Wainwright, 25, of 10812 Downsville Pike, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault. Judge John H. McDowell suspended all but 18 months of a five-year prison term.

"This is an extremely serious case ... this was a threat of deadly force," McDowell said. "It escalated when you brought a gun into this fight."

According to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Steve Kessell, the June 5, 1999, incident began at 1:30 a.m. at the BP Station on Md. 68 in Clear Spring.

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The victim, Wade Andrew Elwood, of 13506 National Pike, Clear Spring, told police he and a friend drove into the parking lot where people were milling around.

Elwood told police he became involved in a word battle with another man, court records said.

In his first interview, Elwood told police the man fired several shots at him from a handgun, and one of the shots hit him in the chin. The other man got into a low rider pickup truck and sped away, Elwood said.

In a second interview with police, Elwood said his assailant was first on foot in the parking lot but was back in this truck when the shots were fired.

Realizing he'd been shot, Elwood drove to the Sheetz Store on Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown and called police. When Maryland State Police arrived shortly after 2 a.m., they found Elwood being tended by ambulance personnel for a injury to his left jaw, court records said.

A projectile from a pellet gun was later removed surgically from Elwood's throat, court records said.

According to Kessell, Wainwright admitted being in the parking lot on that day at the time of the incident but denied shooting at Elwood or harming him in any way.

Later Wainwright admitted firing the shots.

"It was the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life," Wainwright said in court Thursday. He apologized to Ellwood who was in the courtroom gallery Thursday.

Wainwright had also been charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to Maryland State Police. Those charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.

After his release from the Washington County Detention Center, Wainwright will be on probation for two years. Restitution of $913.48 was paid to Elwood Thursday.

The pellet gun was forfeited. A $300 fine was imposed as well as $1,085 in court costs.

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