Trial in gun store shooting starts Tuesday

A former Grand Junction police officer involved in an accidental shooting of a gun store employee in February 2008 will head to trial Tuesday on one misdemeanor charge.

Richard Bacher, 57, a longtime Grand Junction police officer and Delta police chief for about a year, initially faced three misdemeanor charges for a Feb. 9, 2008, incident at Jerry’s Outdoor Sports, in which co-worker Kenny Franklin, then 53, was shot in the stomach.

Bacher will be tried on a single charge of misdemeanor third-degree assault.

The case was turned over to the 9th Judicial District for charging decisions.

Prosecutors initially lodged, then dropped, misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment against store owner Jerry Stehman and Michael Dean, of Loma, who brought in the rifle, which police say was loaded, to be repaired.

Bacher initially faced two other misdemeanor charges of prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment, but those charges have been dropped.

Bacher’s trial is expected to last two days.


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