2 charged in connection with bullet impact near woman's head

2014-05-30T15:57:00Z 2014-05-30T23:49:05Z 2 charged in connection with bullet impact near woman's headBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Prosecutors say a stray bullet from two men who were target shooting traveled some 800 yards and hit about 12 inches above a woman’s head while she was peeling potatoes in her kitchen.

Terry McCurdy, 40, and Douglas W. Johnson, 39, appeared in court Friday on charges of negligent endangerment. They were each charged in Yellowstone County Justice Court with misdemeanors, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

On May 15, a woman was standing at the sink in the kitchen of her trailer home in the 3800 block of Duck Creek when she and her husband heard a loud pop, according to charging documents.

At first the couple thought the noise was from fireworks, but then they realized there was a hole in the wall of the kitchen about 7 feet above the floor, prosecutors said.

After finding a bullet on the floor, the couple heard more gunshots. They hit the floor and called 911.

Two Yellowstone County sheriff’s deputies responded and found the bullet’s impact in a cabinet over the sink about a foot above where the woman had been standing.

The deputies then found the two men, identified as McCurdy and Johnson, who had an AR-15 rifle and a .22-caliber revolver, along with ammunition for both guns.

According to the deputies, the two men confirmed they had been shooting targets on the riverbank.

Both men appeared shocked to learn a bullet had reached the couple’s home, the deputies reported. When one of the deputies explained how close the bullet had come to hitting someone, the two men said they were relieved no one was hurt.

Johnson said he owned both guns, and both men said they didn’t know how far a .223-caliber round can travel, according to charging documents.

Judge Pedro R. Hernandez set each man’s bond at $1,000 and scheduled their pretrial hearings for Aug. 28.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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