MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Shepherd University student was placed on probation for his role in the December 2010 shooting of a 16-year-old boy in the genitals with a BB gun.
Mason D. Jones, 21, of Martinsburg, entered an Alford plea to one count of battery. By entering an Alford plea, Jones did not admit guilt, but he acknowledged there was sufficient evidence for the prosecution to gain a conviction.
A one-year jail sentence was suspended by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes, who placed Jones on probation for five years and ordered the Shepherd sophomore to complete 200 hours of community service.
Jones, who was dressed in a suit and tie for his plea and sentencing hearing Monday, also must pay more than $1,000 to the state crime victims compensation fund, which covered medical expenses incurred by the victim, according to the sentencing terms.
The judge told Jones that he hoped he learned a lesson about the consequences of what he described as a “silly childish maneuver.”
“Hopefully, a lesson has been learned,” Wilkes said.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Timothy D. Helman told Wilkes that the victim and his parents agreed to the terms of the plea agreement.
Jones was indicted last year on one felony count of malicious assault.
Police were told the shooting happened Dec. 28, 2010, on Mall Drive near Porter Avenue, according to court records. The BB gun was fired from a Ford Focus in which Jones was traveling with a teenage friend, according to court records.
Helman said Monday that “apparently some words were exchanged” when the vehicle first passed by the victim and those in the vehicle. The victim was shot after they drove past him a second time, according to court documents.
The victim was taken to City Hospital for further medical care, and Helman said the BB had to be removed from the boy. The victim has fully recovered from the shooting, Helman has said.