Jury convicts Arizona man of shooting at kayakers
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — A jury deadlocked on attempted murder and kidnapping charges against a man accused of shooting at four kayakers, but convicted him of endangerment and other counts.
Danny Eugene Button of Wikieup was found guilty Monday of endangerment, aggravated assault and disorderly conduct with a weapon, the Mohave Valley Daily News reported .
Button, 68, pointed a handgun at the Flagstaff kayakers and fired five shots as they were traveling down the Burro Creek in February 2017, Chief Deputy Mohave County Attorney James Schoppmann said during the weeklong trial last month.
The lead kayaker saw one round hit about four feet (1.2 meters) from him. He bailed from the kayak and floated downriver to escape. He was found unharmed the next day.
The family of Button’s wife owns the land surrounding that section of the creek.
The kayakers did not trespass on the property as they did not touch the creek’s bottom, Schoppmann said.
Brad Rideout, Button’s attorney, argued that his client was shooting on his property unaware of the kayakers. He claimed the kayakers were not in Button’s line of sight.
Rideout said Button was legally using a gun on the property, where he has lived for decades, and it should not be considered aggravated assault.
The judge ordered Button to remain in custody without bond until his sentencing, which is scheduled for next month.
Schoppmann said Button could face 20 to 30 years in prison.
Information from: Mohave Valley Daily News, http://www.mohavedailynews.com