WILLISTON (AP) - A West Fargo man charged with attempted murder in a shooting in the North Dakota oil patch city of Williston has been sentenced on a lesser charge, angering the paralyzed victim and the city's police chief.
Authorities accused Paul Huckstep of shooting Kenneth Moore during a drug dispute a year ago. Huckstep on Tuesday pleaded guilty to terrorizing, as well as drug and weapon charges, and prosecutors dropped the attempted murder charge. He was sentenced to five years in prison and given credit for time he already has served.
Moore, of Boise, Idaho, said he was shot in the chest, stomach and legs. Authorities have said he was shot in the spine. He uses a wheelchair.
"I believe there wasn't justice served today," he told the Williston Herald after the hearing. "A man who tried killing me, who was charged with attempted murder, shot me seven times."
Moore said he would have liked to see Huckstep sentenced to 15 years or more.
"Obviously it wasn't just to injure me, it was a shot to kill me," he said.
Williston Police Chief Jim Lokken also said he was unhappy with the plea agreement.
"Where's the justice for the victim?" he said. "His life in a wheelchair and the suspect gets five years with credit for time served and no formal probation afterward. We feel that the amount of work put in by the Williston Police Department and countless other agencies - hundreds and hundreds of hours - we turned over a case for prosecution."
Huckstep's attorney, Jay Greenwood, said the plea deal factors in everything to which his client had admitted, and would save the cost and time of further prosecuting the case. He also said there are varying accounts of what happened during the shooting. Greenwood has said in the past that another man might have shot Moore.
Judge David Nelson said he was satisfied with the plea deal and would accept it.