Jury hung on most charges in shootings

Joshua Anton

A Mesa County jury deadlocked Tuesday on most of the charges against a man accused of shooting five people at a party in December 2009.

Joshua Anton, 21, was convicted on a pair of misdemeanors — prohibited use of a weapon and carrying a concealed weapon — in verdicts that were read aloud Tuesday afternoon in District Judge Brian Flynn’s courtroom. The jury could not agree on the most serious charges, including first-degree assault and second-degree assault.

The District Attorney’s office moved to try the case yet again and scheduled another trial starting Aug. 15 for two weeks.

Anton pleaded not guilty in the shooting of five people Dec. 13, 2009, after a fight at a late-night party at 2984 Krista St., in Fruitvale. Anton’s attorneys claim he fired in self-defense after several men, with whom he had fought earlier at the party, tried to force their way back into the home.

Prosecutors said Anton was standing in the living room when he fired four shots from a .40-caliber handgun. Three of the five wounded men suffered serious injuries, doctors said.

Flynn in August rejected a plea agreement that called for Anton to be placed on probation in exchange for a guilty plea to felony menacing. The judge criticized the agreement as too lenient.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger declined comment on the verdicts Tuesday.


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