Christopher Brian Wilkins, 59, pleaded no contest to the single felony in a plea deal with the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office that dismissed a number of serious charges, including assault with a firearm, carrying a concealed, loaded and unregistered firearm, and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
Wilkins was originally accused of firing shots during a drunken confrontation with a woman in the 4400 block of Stonyford Lodoga Road on Aug. 9, over a large sum of money.
After the confrontation, in which Wilkins was alleged to have threatened to kill her, the woman reportedly ran to her bedroom, at which time she heard the sounds of gunshots, escaped through her bedroom window, and then walked barefoot through a field for more than one mile, before arriving at a neighbor’s home shocked and in disarray, according to the initial report.
Colusa County District Attorney Brenden Farrell said he decided to dismiss the assault charge and enhancements due a credibility problem, after witness statements began to change about what really happened that night.
What was clear, Farrell said, was that Colusa County Sheriff’s deputies found, through their investigation, that Wilkins was highly intoxicated when he handled and discharged a shotgun in the area of the residence. A Search warrant served on Wilkins’ vehicle and trailer turned up a Remington 870 12-gauge pump action shotgun, a .22 caliber rifle, ammunition for multiple weapons, and a loaded Smith & Wesson handgun, not registered to Wilkins.
Because Wilkins has three prior felony convictions, he is forbidden to own or possess any firearm or ammunition, Farrell said.
Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson sentenced Wilkins to three years in state prison, less 309 days credit off his sentence for time served and good behavior.
Wilkins’ Public Defender, Albert Smith, had asked for a sentence of probation so Wilkins could continue substance abuse treatment.
Smith said the sober time Wilkins spent in jail (155 actual days) has resulted in a physically and mentally healthier individual.
“He is not the same man I met when I saw him on the first day,” Smith said.
Thompson denied the request because the prior convictions made Wilkins ineligible for probation. ♣