Franklin man faces 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to shooting victim in the head

A Franklin man pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge for an incident that involved a man being shot in the head, and he faces 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Jesse James, 39, of Spring Avenue in Franklin, was originally charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony, in the shooting of Timothy Lazier, 40, of Franklin. On Friday, attorney David Anthony Chicarelli told Judge Ron Ruppert that a plea agreement was offered by the city prosecutor for James to plead guilty to a reduced charge of negligent assault, a third-degree misdemeanor.

James had been released on a $25,000 bond prior to his court appearance.

James was accused of shooting Lazier in the head during a Feb. 18 altercation in the 900 block of Franklin Commons Circle. Lazier was taken to Atrium Medical Center and transferred to Miami Valley Hospital, where he was eventually released.

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“This is far different than the felonious assault charge you were arraigned on,” Ruppert said.

Before accepting the guilty plea to the reduced charge, Ruppert confirmed that there has been no contact with the victim and that Franklin police was in agreement with the reduced charge. James is facing a penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for the negligent assault charge.

Ruppert told James that he knows that a firearm was involved and that there was harm to the victim, but he wanted to know more about James’ background and ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be conducted.

James is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15.

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Police Chief Russ Whitman said no others were involved in the Feb. 18 incident and that he did not expect any additional charges to be filed in the matter.

Whitman said police were dispatched Feb. 20 to the 600 block of Spring Avenue on a report of an assault at that address. However, James fled the scene. After police set up a perimeter with officers from several agencies in Warren County, James was eventually found and arrested.

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