SANDPOINT — Sentencing has been delayed for a Bonner County man who inadvertently opened fire on two teenagers fly fishing the Priest River in 2017.
Eric Rampton Wood was scheduled to be sentenced for unlawful possession of a firearm and injuring another by discharged firearm in 1st District Court on Monday. The state and the defense moved jointly to postpone the hearing because sentencing recommendations were still being negotiated and Wood, who is caregiver to his mother, needed time to make arrangements for her care if he’s incarcerated.
Judge Barbara Buchanan declined the motion on Thursday, but the hearing was reset for Jan. 22, court records show.
The two teens, who were 13 at the time of the September 2017 shooting, told sheriff’s investigators they rode a motorized scooter to cast lines in a fishing hole they had permission to use. They began receiving gunfire and fled the site when the shots subsided, but one of the teens was shot in the leg when they departed on the Honda scooter, which was damaged by gunfire, according to court documents.
Wood, 53, and Leo Michael Inwood, 43, were originally charged with discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle and felony malicious injury to property. Wood was further charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm due to a felony conviction in Washington state and Inwood faced an additional charge of concealing evidence for hiding the 12-guage shotgun and .357 magnum revolver used in the shooting.
The men told investigators they were unaware of the teens’ presence on the river and believed they were shooting a box top or sign in the bush.
A judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to sustain the firearm discharge and felony vandalism offenses against Wood, who ultimately pleaded guilty to the unlawful firearm possession charge and injuring another by discharging an aimed firearm, a misdemeanor.
The firearm and vandalism charges against Inwood were ultimately dismissed, although he was tried and convicted of evidence concealment by a Bonner County jury last month. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 25.
Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.