A local bondsman has pleaded no contest to firing a gun while trying to apprehend someone in Leavenworth.
Eddie Carnoali, 68, entered the plea Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court for a charge of aggravated assault.
The charge stems from a Sept. 25, 2013, incident in the 1100 block of Kansas Street. Carnoali reportedly tried to take another man, who was considered an absconder, into custody.
A police officer who was nearby reportedly heard a gunshot. The officer found Carnoali with what was described as a sawed-off shotgun, Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said.
Carnoali approached the officer and reportedly said, "I shot at him, but don't worry. I missed."
Thompson said Carnoali fired the shotgun as the other man was fleeing from a home. The other man, who had obtained a bond through Carnoali's company, had no weapon.
Thompson said Carnoali later stated he had fired into the air. But, the county attorney believes the bondsman fired in the direction of the other man.
The county attorney said bond agents in Kansas have "reasonable police powers" when it comes to apprehending someone who has skipped on bond. But, Thompson said no police officer would ever do what Carnoali did.
Carnoali signed a written plea agreement before Wednesday's hearing.
Carnoali's attorney, Edward Gillette, said the agreement had been reached after several weeks of discussions.
"We believe this best resolves the situation," Gillette said.
As part of the plea agreement, a misdemeanor charge of criminal discharge of a firearm was dismissed. A separate case involving a criminal threat charge also was dismissed.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 12.
District Court Judge Martin Asher said the sentence for the aggravated assault charge can range from 11 to 34 months with the Kansas Department of Corrections.
But, it's anticipated Carnoali will receive a suspended sentence and be placed on probation.
There will be a request that Carnoali be allowed to serve the probation in another county. Gillette said this will be the best arrangement given the nature of his client's work.
When contacted after the hearing, Gillette said he and Carnoali are reserving comment until after sentencing.
Gillette said his client won't be able to serve as a bondsman in the future as a result of having the felony on his record.