Man who unintentionally shot woman in face sentenced in Waldo County Court
BELFAST — A Clifton man who pleaded no contest to charges of reckless conduct was sentenced to two years in prison, with all but 120 days suspended in Waldo County Unified Court April 29.
Login Armstrong, 20, stood accused of unintentionally discharging a weapon while disassembling it, after failing to clear the chamber of the weapon in Waldo. The bullet went through Armstong’s hand before striking a female acquaintance in the face, according to an affidavit filed by Waldo County Sheriff’s Department Detective Dale Brown.
In addition to 120 days in jail, with credit for time served, Armstrong will also be placed on probation for two years. He will also have to pay restitution of $12,348.89 to his unintended victim. Armstong is also prohibited from having contact with his victim.
According to an affidavit prepared by Detective Brown, and dated Nov. 18, 2019, the emergency call came through Waldo County Dispatch Center around 1 a.m. Oct. 20, 2019. A female caller, later identified as the woman shot, reported that two individuals had been shot at a home in Waldo, including herself. Shortly after a male voice came on the line, later identified as Login Armstong, who reportedly stated that he had been unloading a firearm and accidentally shot himself.
Officers with both the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department and Belfast Police responded to the residence and administered first aid to both Armstong and the female victim.
When asked what happened, Armstrong reportedly told a deputy that he had been trying to unload a pistol and had not completely ensured that [the firearm] was unloaded, according to the affidavit.
Armstrong reportedly told law enforcement that he had shot himself in his left hand and that he thought the round then grazed the injured woman.
Detective Dale Brown responded to the scene a short time after the incident, and spoke to the wounded, but alert woman, who reportedly said that after the gun went off “she felt a tremendous burning behind her left ear.” At that point, both she and officers believed she had only been grazed by the bullet given how alert and logical she was when speaking with them.
Once an ambulance reached the scene and examined her they advised Det. Brown that the wound was more than a graze. Instead, she had an entry wound in her left cheek, just below her cheekbone, according to the affidavit.
Both Armstrong and the woman were transported to the hospital by ambulance for treatment. At the hospital, Det. Brown was advised that the injured woman was stable, but there was concern over potential internal damage the bullet may have caused.
Det. Brown spoke with Armstrong at the hospital. When asked whether he had shot the woman intentionally, Armstrong told Det. Brown that he did not. Armstrong reportedly deemed his own actions “careless and unsafe,” according to the affidavit, and said he felt [terrible] about the incident.
Armstrong was released on $500 cash bail Nov. 19, 2019, with conditions not to possess dangerous weapons, including firearms and not to have contact with the victim, among other stipulations.
In a victim impact statement, the woman called the event “the most traumatic and scariest time in [her] life.” She said that everything changed following the incident, with nightmares and trouble eating among other symptoms of the traumatic event.
The woman had to have surgery to repair her shattered jaw bone, which resulted in having her jaw wired shut for 16 days, during which time she was forced to eat and drink using a syringe with a piece of catheter tubing attached to the end. She wrote that her mother had to take a month away from work to care for her, leading to financial strain on the family.
The woman ended her victim statement by saying that she still had pain in her jaw “all the time,” and that she still has difficulty eating and chewing, among other lasting effects.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org