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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Reckless endangerment with a gun

    Hi, I'll try and make a long story short. I was on a houseboat with friends after a wakeboarding contest this summer in Tennessee (I drive the tournament boat as well as help judge the riders). Some of my good friends were in town and wanted to check out my new Glock 32 that I recently purchased.... Showing off I fired an entire magazine straight down into the water off the back of the boat. The lake was empty and there were no houses nearby when I shot it. Soon after I took it apart and put a lock thru the barrel, then put it in my backpack under a bed. I keep the key on me. Anyway, the gun is put away, the tournament is over and we have a 45 minute houseboat trip back to the marina. I just finished my first beer of the day and the TWRA (lake police) show up 15 minutes after the shots were fired. They stormed aboard in a frenzy telling everyone to put hands in the air. They asked who had a gun and I came forward and explained what I did. I also told them I have a carry permit. They searched the entire boat even though I told them the gun was locked up and under the bed in my backpack. They asked if I had been drinking and I told them I had a beer after I put the gun away. These guys searched everyone onboard and even had a couple of inappropriate comments/gestures to some of the girls in bikinis. In the end they confiscated my gun, 3 mags, ammo and even my new holster. Then charged me with wreckless endangerment. They told me the bullets could rickochet and kill someone...I argued that I shot straight down and that it would be physically impossible for that to happen. They didn't see me shooting but did hear the shots fired and thats why they investigated us.

    They never administered sobriety tests on me at all and I was not arrested. The report says That I was drinking on a houseboat where everyone was drunk with empty beer cans allover and that I admitted to drinking and shooting my gun. They made me look very bad in the report and most of it is simply not true. There was an attorney on board who was sober and sat quiet during the entire process (not a criminal attorney) however She would make a great witness for me as well as a few others that were present.

    At my court date I hired a local attorney to help me out. He thought it would be easy to plea down but the DA wouldn't settle for less than one year probation and I had to surrender the gun. I can't blaim the DA after I personally read the report. I refused the deal and figured I'll take this to a trial. I don't know the law to well but it turns out I waived my right to a preliminary hearing. My lawyer must have had better things to do that day. He never explained my right to a preliminary but later on another lawyer did and said I missed my chance. Now I go for my arraignment late in November.

    I would love some feedback or advice. I'm 31 years old with no prior record. I don't have much money but honestly I don't think I broke the law. I also never put anyone in immanent danger of injury or death so I would really like to beat this charge. Is it all going to be up to a jury? The only real evidence I know they have is my glock which still has a bright red lock thru it and I have the key...

    Chad Hannah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Wreckless endangerment with a gun

    Tennesse defines reckless endangerment thus:

    39-13-103. Reckless endangerment.

    (a) A person commits an offense who recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

    (b) Reckless endangerment is a Class A misdemeanor; however, reckless endangerment committed with a deadly weapon is a Class E felony.

    [Acts 1989, ch. 591, 1.]

    Here is one example of facts which could lead to a felony conviction under this law: "...I fired an entire magazine straight down into the water off the back of the boat...."

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