Lots of crimes involving guns have been in the news recently. This time, a man from Canton Township is charged with reckless endangerment and child endangerment.
Bryan Kin Laberdee, age 39, was arrested after he, according to police, drunkenly fired shots from a handgun. The incident happened on May 4th. In addition to the endangerment charges, Mr. Laberdee was charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.
State troopers were dispatched to Laberdee’s Moon Road address after a caller had reported shots fired in the area of his house. When troopers, one of whom was Trooper Brian Rousseau, arrived on the scene, Laberdee appeared to be “extremely intoxicated.” He refused troopers’ commands to come down off the porch.
Rousseau said in court papers that he entered the porch as Leberdee was attempting to enter the home. Mr. Leberdee actively resisted Rousseau’s attempts to get him to come down from the porch and was taken to the ground.
According to a witness, Laberdee fired four or five shots from his house. Two children, aged 10 and 11, were inside the house at the time. They reportedly said Laberdee fired his 9mm handgun outside. It isn't known if the children were related to Mr. Laberdee. Three shell casings were found on the porch.
Rousseau said the area of Moon Road and Windsor Road where Laberdee lives is “heavily populated” and that four neighbors were put in danger by his shooting. No injuries were reported.
Mr. Laberdee was arraigned Saturday morning in the court of District Judge Joshua Kanalis. Bond was set at $10,000. No attorney was listed in the court record as representing Laberdee, and jail records in Washington County didn’t list him as an inmate Saturday afternoon.
Where to begin with this … some of Mr. Laberdee’s charges aren’t so bad compared to others. Disorderly conduct and public drunkenness are relatively minor misdemeanors. Reckless endangerment, however, is a second-degree misdemeanor. Firing a weapon indiscriminately, if it can be proven that Mr. Laberdee did so, is one of the situations that can trigger a reckless endangerment charge, because the possible consequences of that act can be foreseen, and it is considered dangerous in any situation. This charge alone has the potential for a jail sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to $5,000.
The child endangerment charges are a first-degree misdemeanor for a single charge. If a person has made it a habit to endanger their children, the offense becomes a third-degree felony. The state takes these charges very seriously, as they do all crimes against children.
There are, of course, defenses available to Mr. Laberdee, one of which is that no one was injured. Another is that he was negligent rather than reckless when he shot the gun. Of course, it must be proven where he did the shooting. Was it outside, as the children said, or was it inside the house? Was Laberdee shooting for the sake of shooting, or was he defending himself or his home? Comments on the newspaper website indicate that such behavior is common in that area. While being common doesn’t make it right, it does mean that Laberdee may not have intended to endanger the kids.
Given the circumstances, it’s possible that a plea deal will be in Mr. Laberdee’s best interests. Taking a plea deal would mean he pleads guilty to lesser charges in exchange for the prosecutor dropping the more severe ones. This is a common tactic in criminal defense, and is used in more cases than you might think. It’s actually a bad idea most of the time to go ahead with a jury trial. Most clients end up losing when they face a jury, and the convictions they end up with are more severe than the ones they would have pled to.
We all know guns and alcohol don’t mix. I hope this man hires a good attorney to help him out. I get the feeling he’s going to need the assistance!