Courtroom Roundup: Man pleads no contest to lesser charge

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A man charged with attempted second-degree murder pleaded no contest to a lesser charge Tuesday in state district court.

Gregory Calvin Brown, 26, 617 N. Jake St., pleaded no contest to aggravated assault and cocaine possession.

Prosecutors said Brown shot another man but that witnesses’ stories were inconsistent. They said Brown’s version of events

was that he had wrested the gun from the other man. The shooting happened in April 2011, according to the court docket.

Judge Wilford Carter sentenced Brown to six months’ unsupervised probation and a fine. Carter told Brown he was “getting away”

with probation and a fine, but not to return to his courtroom.

The victim agreed to the plea deal, District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Holly Carter said.

Mistrial

The trial of a man prosecutors say threatened his neighbors ended in a mistrial Tuesday.

Kerry Lyn Lute, 40, 2113 Eighth St., was charged with assault by drive-by shooting, but prosecutors amended the charge to

aggravated assault on Monday.

Because the amended charge is a misdemeanor, the trial was being heard in front of Judge David Ritchie instead of a jury.

During opening statements, prosecutor David Palay claimed Lute was quarreling with his neighbors and threatened them. After

he made the threats, one of the neighbor’s homes and vehicle were shot up, Palay said.

He continued to threaten the neighbors, at one point standing in the street swinging a dog chain over his head — which police

witnessed, Palay said. Lute also pointed his finger at them like a gun, he said.

Public defender Angel Harris objected

to it being said in court that Lute stood in the street swinging a dog

chain because

she had been presented no such allegation in discovery. After

looking through the discovery file given to Harris, Palay agreed

and Ritchie granted a mistrial.

The case is to be taken up again on Oct. 11.