Man gets work release in shooting

Paul Johnson

MONTROSE — Delta County resident Paul Johnson was sentenced Wednesday to 10 days work release, 60 hours of public service and two years of probation as a result of a Nov. 23 assault of his Escalante Canyon Road neighbor John Wool.

“I think that’s very lenient,” Judge David Westfall said of the sentence.

Johnson, 66, pleaded no contest to the charge of third-degree assault of Wool. He claimed he acted in self defense when he sprayed Wool in the face with bear pepper spray.

Johnson last month testified he was traveling home from Grand Junction with his wife and mother when they were driven from the road by Wool. Johnson said he sprayed Wool when Wool approached him, armed with a .410 shotgun.

Disoriented by the spray, Wool, 52, fired one shot in Johnson’s direction, hitting Johnson’s wife, Patricia, with nearly 200 No. 8-gauge BBs.

Westfall said the incident appalled him.

“Your actions aren’t justified to me. They seem dangerous,” Westfall told Johnson.

Wool, who pleaded not guilty in his case stemming from the incident, was in court to witness Johnson’s sentence. Wool’s trial is set for Aug. 16.

Wool said he was advised by counsel not to talk with “reporters in the room.”

Westfall, in addition, ordered a no-contact protection order, prohibiting Johnson and Wool from making contact.

Attorneys argued that the order should take into consideration the fact the men have to share Escalante Canyon Road to travel to their homes.

“If (Johnson) he’s driving down the road and gives Mr. Wool the finger, I would consider that contact,” Westfall said.


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