Shooter says blame booze for his crime |

Shooter says blame booze for his crime

Donald Lawson pleaded guilty to the attempted murder and mayhem of 30-year-old Jimmy McGeehan in Douglas County District Court Tuesday.

Lawson went to McGeehan’s residence on Upper Kingsbury Grade Feb. 6 at about 2:30 a.m. and slashed McGeehan’s tires. When McGeehan went outside to investigate the noise, Lawson fired his Smith & Wesson semi-automatic 9 mm pistol 15 times, only stopping when his gun misfired.

“I could hear the tires popping and I figured he was slashing them,” McGeehan said from his native Philadelphia, where he returned to rehabilitate. “I go out and I just see someone right by the tires. I didn’t think I was going to go out and get shot.”

Lawson said the assault resulted from a road rage incident on Super Bowl Sunday, 10 days before the shooting. Judge Dave Gamble asked him what happened the night of the shooting.

“In the course of vandalizing the vehicle (McGeehan) confronted me at his residence,” Lawson said in a quivering voice. “I drew my weapon on him and attempted to scare him, and in my drunken state I shot him.”

McGeehan suffered 11 bullet wounds to all of his limbs and torso. He was transported by ambulance to Douglas High School where Care Flight took him to Washoe Medical Center.

McGeehan’s condition improved enough by April 5 to move back to Philadelphia.

Lawson stated no other reason for the shooting than the traffic altercation and alcohol.

Gamble reprimanded him for using alcohol as an excuse for the shooting and chastised him for claiming the shooting occurred because McGeehan “confronted” him.

“You were outside slashing his tires and he came out of his house and you call that confronting you,” Gamble said.

Douglas County Deputy District Attorney Dina Salvucci noted if Lawson only intended to slash McGeehan’s tires he would have fled when McGeehan came outside to investigate. She also questioned Lawson’s claim that he shot McGeehan from a range of about 35 feet.

“Mr. Lawson had ample time to run, retreat, do anything other than shoot Mr. McGeehan,” Salvucci said. “All of the wounds were life-threatening. There is no evidence to support a self-defense claim. There is evidence that Mr. Lawson was closer to Mr. McGeehan than he indicates.”

McGeehan said he does not understand how a minor traffic incident led to his shooting.

“I had no idea. It is a joke,” McGeehan said. “I mean, I drove past him in my car and he decides to slash my tires and then shoot me. He must not be very smart.”

Lawson’s admission was part of a plea agreement with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office. His sentencing is scheduled for June 19 at 9 a.m.

The 32-year-old Lawson faces a maximum of 50 years in prison.

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