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Associated Press

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) - A boy who fired a gun at a carload of people pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

District Judge Nena James sentenced Daniel J. Boutin, 16, to three to five years in prison, with time suspended in favor of one year at Frontier Corrections in Cheyenne.

Boutin was also sentenced to five years of supervised probation and was ordered to pay $758.02 in restitution and $100 to the state Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

Boutin was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder after the shooting on Dec. 14. He pleaded innocent Jan. 28 and on Thursday pleaded guilty to the reduced charge.

Boutin said he and some friends were driving around town when a vehicle driven by Martha Ramirez began following them and trying to make them stop.

According to Boutin, Ramirez honked and people in her car started yelling at Boutin and his friends. He said Ramirez and her friends chased them through a trailer park and down a street.

At one point, Boutin said, Ramirez got out of her car and pounded on the vehicle he was in. "Everyone was all scared in the car," Boutin said. "There was a gun on the floor."

Boutin admitted picking up the gun, opening and car door and shooting at the ground. He said he did not intend to kill anyone.

One of the bullets hit Ramirez's car near where the driver's head probably would have been. Prosecutor Tony Howard said the diameter of the bullet hole showed the bullet had not ricocheted into the car.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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