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Man who aimed gun at child sentenced

Jun 30, 2014 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

Other charges for forgery, fraud and illegal firearms possession against Harold Dean Porter were dropped as part of a plea arrangement.

A Lander-area man has been sentenced to 12-15 years in prison for aggravated assault and battery as part of a plea agreement.

Harold Dean Porter had entered a no-contest plea in April. For purposes of disposition and sentencing, a no-contest plea is treated like a guilty one.

District Court Judge Norman E. Young also agreed to the possibility of treatment for Porter, whose lawyer said Porter could not plead guilty because he was drunk Oct. 25 and did not remember the events in question.

According to an affidavit, Porter's wife, Bonita Porter, told a sheriff's deputy her husband and a friend were drinking at home while her grandchildren were sleeping in a bedroom in the residence.

She got in an argument with her husband, and he retrieved a gun and pointed it at her. Bonita Porter said she screamed, and her grandson came from his bedroom and stood in the room she and her husband were in.

Harold Porter pointed the gun at the grandson and told him to get back to bed, Bonita Porter said.

Authorities said one of the grandsons confirmed the story.

Bonita Porter and the grandson identified the gun the defendant used from the weapons federal agents seized.

When it was found, the revolver was loaded with six .22-caliber hollow-point rounds.

Harold Porter's four previous felony convictions mean the sentencing range for aggravated assault is 10 to 50 years in prison. His plea agreement, however, limits his penalty to 12 to 15 years.

Two of the dropped charges were related to 11 firearms the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported finding at the home.

The charges were possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony offense, and possession, manufacture or disposition of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent.

One charge of forgery and one of fraud were filed in a second case against Harold Porter, but those were both dropped in line with the deal.

The plea agreement also would require that Harold Porter pay $5,000 restitution in the second case.

During his sentencing, Harold Porter said his son's death caused him to end his 15-year sobriety.

"I fell apart, it was hard to deal with it," Harold Porter said on June 12.

He added that he wanted to get help so he could participate in life events, such as watching his grandchildren graduate and get married.

He said he also wanted to pick up his old construction business with his other son as well.

"By accepting this plea agreement, I cannot change the deal," Young said, wanting to make sure Harold Porter understood his sentence.

He agreed, stating he knew Young could not change the deal.

Young accepted the sentence, giving a 232-day credit to his sentence.

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