A Moriah man who shot a man while hunting in 2014 pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge, weeks after an appeals court threw out his initial conviction.
Shawn M. LaValley, 36, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for the Dec. 1, 2014 shooting of 83-year-old Mineville resident Joseph Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was seriously injured by a shotgun blast after LaValley mistook him for a deer, despite the blaze orange hat he was wearing. LaValley could not legally possess a firearm because of a prior criminal conviction.
LaValley was convicted after a trial in 2016 and sentenced to 7 years in state prison. That conviction was overturned on technical issues last month, and the case was scheduled for re-trial next week.
LaValley instead opted to plead guilty and receive a four-year prison sentence. He will get credit for the time he served in Essex County Jail and state prison before the appeals court reversal.