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France Re-Enactor Pleads Guilty

July 16, 1998

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) _ A Civil War buff from France pleaded guilty to charges he shot and wounded a man during a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Christian Evo, 52, of Muret, France, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of recklessly endangering another person. A charge of assault was dropped. He was sentenced to two days in jail, ordered to pay more than $28,550 to cover his victim’s medical bills, and fined $2,000.

Evo, who had already spent two days in jail, paid part of his fine and headed back to France.

``I don’t want to return to the United States,″ he said.

Prosecutors said Evo shot Clinton Wakefield Epps, 22, of Charlottesville, Va., in the neck during a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3. Authorities have called the shooting an accident.

Evo did not know that the revolver was loaded with live ammunition, said his attorney, Joseph Metz. Evo didn’t even realize that he had hurt anyone until later.

Evo, who was riding a horse, pointed the gun directly at Epps when he pulled the trigger despite rules specifically banning the use of live ammunition in the re-enactment, prosecutors said.

Adams County District Attorney Michael George argued that Evo could have taken more precautions. Witnesses placed Evo only 15 feet away from Epps when he fired the gun.

Doctors removed a .44-caliber minie ball from Epps’ neck.

Outside the courthouse, Evo called the whole incident ``a nightmare″ and apologized to Epps.

Epps was not there but later said he appreciated it.

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