Sidles sentenced to year in jail for shooting incident

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Scott Sidles

Judge David Lester on Monday signed off on a year-long sentence for a Spirit Lake man who intentionally fired a pistol at a neighbor and caused a gunshot wound.

Scott Sidles was sentenced following guilty pleas in September to "reckless use of a firearm," a Class C felony and "assault with a dangerous weapon," an aggravated misdemeanor. A Class B attempted murder charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. The Dickinson County Attorney's Office dropped charges of intimidation with a dangerous weapon, a Class C felony and willful injury, also a Class C felony.

"It came with a lot of input from the victims," Dickinson County Attorney Jon Martin said. "When we were negotiating a plea agreement, they were, of course, involved with that and were in favor of it."

The 55-year-old faced the series of charges after authorities were called to the area of 1205 Fargo Ave. near East Lake Okoboji on Oct. 2, 2016.

Authorities thought Sidles discharged his .22-caliber pistol in the direction of a neighbor “with the intent to cause the death of another person and not under circumstances which would justify his actions,” according to initial court documents.

The victim was sitting in a chair on a patio on the night of Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, when a bullet struck her in the leg, according to the criminal complaint filed by investigators. The weapon was fired from a driveway that accesses Lake Drive Avenue in the back of the house. Responding officers think Sidles was "shooting at a group of people."

At Monday's sentencing hearing, the injured neighbor told Sidles she became very paranoid after the shooting and was afraid to let her children play outside. She spent a month in a wheelchair, saw family members lose time from work to help her and found herself continually rechecking her locks.

"What you have done will probably haunt me for the rest of my life," she said.

Sidles turned his chair at the defense table to face his neighbor and offer an apology. Lester noted family ties and a history of gainful employment during the sentencing hearing.

The year Sidles spends at the Dickinson County Jail will be some of the last days he spends in Spirit Lake — he was ordered to leave the city limits of Spirit Lake as part of the plea agreement reached two months ago.

Lester agreed to suspend time on the 10-year reckless use of a firearm conviction. Sidles still has to serve a year on the assault with a dangerous weapon charge.

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