A Utah teen is facing felony discharge of a weapon and attempted murder charges after he shot up a home where he had a argument with the homeowner hours earlier.
Exchanging words with bullets
18 year old Joshua Baer of Springville, Utah was arrested after he opened fire on a home, striking one of the residents in the head. The husband of the wounded woman stated to police that he had gotten into a heated exchange of words with Baer earlier in the day. Later on, after investigating a strange noise outside, the husband saw someone who looked like Baer pointing a gun at the house. The man shut the door quickly, but Baer unleashed several bullets at the home, striking the man’s wife in the head. The wife was rushed to a local hospital where she is expected to survive and Baer was charged with felony discharge of a weapon and attempted murder.
Felony discharge of a weapon
The attempted murder charge of Baer is a first degree felony, punishable by five years to life in prison and a fine of $10,000. He also faces another first degree felony for felony discharge of a weapon. Utah Code 76-10-508.1 states “an individual who discharges a firearm is guilty of a third degree felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than three years nor more than five years if:
- the actor discharges a firearm in the direction of one or more individuals, knowing or having reason to believe that any individual may be endangered by the discharge of the firearm;
- the actor, with intent to intimidate or harass another or with intent to damage a habitable structure as defined in Section 76-6-101, discharges a firearm in the direction of any individual or habitable structure; or
- the actor, with intent to intimidate or harass another, discharges a firearm in the direction of any vehicle.”
That section goes on to explain that if anyone is injured during the felony discharge of a weapon, the charges increase to a second degree felony. If anyone is seriously injured, the charges increase further to a first degree felony.”
Rage with a weapon
Authorities have not released what words were exchanged between Baer and the homeowner. Whatever was said however was enough to spark rage in Baer for him to return later with a weapon. Many teens experience instances of rage and increased irritability as a result of changing hormones. While this is part of growing up, decisions made while angry can be life changing. Teens need to be educated in ways to safely and effectively handle their changing emotions to prevent instances they may regret for the rest of their lives. Any teens facing criminal charges for crimes committed during bouts of rage are encouraged to seek legal counsel from a juvenile defense attorney.