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Plankinton teen pleads guilty to assault in shooting

ALEXANDRIA — A Plankinton teen pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of aggravated assault for shooting another teenager in June.

Logan Evans, 18, entered his plea during circuit court at the Hanson County Courthouse.

Logan Evans  In exchange for the prosecution dropping two other aggravated assault charges and a misdemeanor charge of reckless discharge of a weapon, Evans pleaded guilty to the one count of aggravated assault.

The charge said he “willfully and unlawfully, and feloniously caused bodily injury to one Nicholaus James Lawson, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

Nick Lawson  On June 22, Evans was driving a vehicle along Interstate 90 in Hanson County. Lawson, 17, and two other juvenile passengers were in the vehicle. Court documents say Evans pointed a 9 mm pistol toward the backseat of the vehicle after he’d removed the magazine. Thinking the gun wasn’t loaded, he pulled the trigger. A bullet was in the chamber and struck Lawson in the chest.

Evans told law enforcement he pulled the trigger as a joke because he thought it wasn’t loaded, court documents say. He had received the gun as a high school graduation gift.

In August, supporters of Lawson held a fundraising event in his honor. Lawson survived the shooting and was recovering at home after a stay in a Sioux Falls hospital.

“I’m able to walk around, but not for very long,” Lawson said at the August event. “If I go too long, I get tired and have to sit down.

Lawson’s mother, Mary, said in August she has been in touch with Evans’ family and said the situation was difficult for them.

Lawson said his view on firearms is, “Just leave them at home — don’t take them along when you’re out with friends at a get-together — and don’t point them at people.”

The Daily Republic was not able to reach Lawson or his mother Wednesday.

Judge Tim Bjorkman ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for November.