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Forum News Service, Published October 09 2013

Teen who received gun as graduation gift pleads guilty in shooting

ALEXANDRIA, S.D. - A Plankinton teen pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of aggravated assault for shooting another teenager with a pistol he had been given as a high school graduation present.

Logan Evans, 18, entered his plea during circuit court at the Hanson County Courthouse.

In exchange for the prosecution dropping two other aggravated assault charges and a misdemeanor charge of reckless discharge of a weapon, Evans pleaded guilty to the one count of aggravated assault.

On June 22, Evans was driving a vehicle along Interstate 90 in Hanson County. Nicholaus Lawson, 17, and two other juvenile passengers were in the vehicle. Court documents say Evans pointed a 9 mm pistol toward the back seat of the vehicle after he’d removed the magazine. Thinking the gun wasn’t loaded, he pulled the trigger. A bullet was in the chamber and struck Lawson in the chest.

Lawson survived the shooting and has been recovering at home after a stay in a Sioux Falls hospital.

Evans told law enforcement he pulled the trigger as a joke because he thought it wasn’t loaded, court documents say. He said he received the gun as a graduation gift.