A Michigan City area man who shot a neighbor over a woman avoided jail time but must pay over $26,000 to cover the victim's unpaid medical costs.
Richard Price, 57, was sentenced Friday under a plea agreement in LaPorte Circuit Court to two years probation for battery and pointing a firearm, both Class A misdemeanors.
He could have faced a prison sentence up to 11 years, but, in exchange for the plea, the felony charges originally leveled against him were reduced to misdemeanors.
According to court documents, on Nov. 3 of last year, Price had a woman at his house in the 4700 block of North 600 West.
The victim, Arden Culvahouse walked from his nearby residence close to where Price lives yelling for his girlfriend to come home.
Price admitted going outside and once firing shotgun hitting Culvahouse in the legs, back, waist and hand.
According to court records, Culvahouse never ventured onto Price's property and was in his own driveway when shot.
Culvahouse was found to have nerve damage from the shotgun blast, telling doctors he could not feel anything in his feet, according to court documents.
Under terms of the plea, Price must pay the entire $26,550 owed amount to the victim in 180 days.
If he doesn't, Price could be ordered to serve his two years probation behind bars.
LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Fronk said the victim was in favor of the plea because his major concern was covering his unpaid medical costs.
Fronk said Price has lived in the Michigan City area for over 40 years but is still a citizen of Great Britain.
A felony conviction would have meant Price being deported and unable to pay back the victim.
Fronk said the injuries were not life threatening.
He said the impact of the blast was minimized because the weapon involved was a .410 shotgun.
The gun doesn't have a lot of power and the victim being 60 feet away didn't take the full force of the blast, Fronk said.
"He had to have pellets removed from his legs and torso," said Fronk.
All of the parties involved had consumed alcohol, authorities said.