Felony charges against an Idaho Falls man who fired a gun inside a woman’s home were dismissed Friday.
Magistrate Judge Dennert Wiley reached a decision based on testimony from the victim that she did not believe David Nicholas, 52, was shooting at her, instead believing he had shot himself.
Nicholas was arrested in August after the victim called police to report the shooting. A bullet was found in the home, having impacted a hallway leading to the victim’s bedroom. He was charged with aggravated assault and unlawful discharge of a weapon at a house or occupied building.
That Nicholas fired the gun was not disputed by his attorney. Idaho Falls Police Department Detective David Shanor testified that Nicholas admitted to going to the victim’s home with a gun, that he drew the gun during an argument and that it went off.
During questioning by Defense Attorney Kelly Mallard, Shanor said Nicholas told police he pulled the trigger on accident and did not intend to hit the victim.
The victim also testified that she never saw Nicholas point the gun at her. She said she was afraid, however, because they had physically fought in the past and struggled over a gun.
The victim testified that where the bullet hit was where she had been standing seconds earlier. Bonneville County Deputy Prosecutor Adam Garvin argued that the impact point of the bullet was enough for the court to infer he had meant to shoot her.
Dennert disagreed, however, and dismissed the case. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Alayne Bean said her office is reviewing the case to determine whether it should refile felony charges and/or pass it to the Idaho Falls prosecutor for misdemeanor charges.