Fun Dome Shooting Suspect Pleads to Reduced Charge

Fun Dome Shooting Suspect Pleads to Reduced Charge

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A boy who fired into a crowd of people outside the Fun Dome in Murray, injuring six people, has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

David Van, who was 16 at the time of the March 29 shootings, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of attempted homicide and two counts of aggravated assault.

He previously had been ordered to stand trial, as an adult, on found counts of attempted homicide and other charges.

"I think it's a good outcome," said prosecutor Vincent Meister. "We basically have everything we need as far as the charges to exact the amount of punishment that is necessary."

Meister said that because of Van's age, it is likely that a 60-day diagnostic evaluation will be made to determine where Van should serve his time. However, Van will be treated as an adult when he appears before 3rd District Judge Dennis Fuchs on Dec. 15 for sentencing.

A fight apparently broke out between Van and fellow members of a Laotian gang and some young Hispanic men inside the Fun Dome. The fight continued outside, where witnesses said Van pulled a gun and fired approximately 17 shots into a crowd of people near the facility's entrance.

The crowd included some of the young men Van had been fighting with, along with many innocent bystanders who were either struck by bullets or flying debris, Meister said.

The wounded included a 4-year-old boy who was shot in the groin.

The woman who drove the getaway car, Bisa Edda Bouaphaphanh, 19, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday but her attorney could not make it to court and her sentencing was postponed to Nov. 10.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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