Girl gets suspended sentence in shooting

July 25, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Taneytown girl charged as an adult in the January shooting of an 18-year-old friend was given a suspended four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in Carroll County Circuit Court yesterday.

In accepting the plea arrangement, Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. placed Shannon Marie Utz, 17, of the first block of Wilson St. on four years of supervised probation. During that period, she must cooperate in mental health therapy and drug and alcohol counseling, submit to random testing for substance abuse and have no contact with the victim, the judge said.

In addition, Burns ordered Utz to pay more than $5,100 in restitution to the victim, Jason Paul Kiser of Detour, for medical expenses.

In the statement of facts, prosecutor Robert N. Smith III said the girl argued with Kiser, who was visiting her home Jan. 27, about whether she had the courage to harm him.

The defendant's written confession, which was incorporated into the statement of facts, stated that she went to another room to get a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle, returned, loaded it and, after being dared again by Kiser, shot him once in the thigh.

"Nobody doubts my word, ever," she said in her written statement. Smith said Utz had no prior criminal record, so the plea arrangement also permits her to seek a modification of the sentence no sooner than September 1997. If she has no probation violations at that time, the judge could strike the guilty finding.

Pub Date: 7/25/96

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