I know (slightly) Mr. Berdy.
From "The Providence Journal"
Man gets 10 years in accidental shooting
John Berdy's sentence at the ACI will begin on Feb. 4; the victim, a family friend who was left paralyzed in the shooting, asked that the judge allow him to remain free for the holidays.
BY MEAGHAN WIMS
Journal Staff Writer
WARWICK -- Dawn Anglin had just celebrated her second wedding anniversary. She was 25, with a job promotion and a move to Colorado on the horizon.
But Anglin's life was shattered in June when family friend John Berdy accidentally shot her with a machine gun he was showing to her husband during a cookout. A bullet punctured the back of her neck, paralyzing her from the chest down.
Now, she can't dance, sew, cook or do most things she loves. She doubts she'll be able to start a family with her husband.
"I'm left with a sense of loss," she said. "While I lack mobility, my loss of sensation has changed all of my interactions with people. Even feeling my husband's hand in mine is not the same."
Anglin, formerly of Warwick, traveled from Colorado to be at Berdy's sentencing in Superior Court yesterday.
"While I forgive what I know was not an intentional shooting, his actions after the shooting were motivated by selfishness," Anglin said. "He cared more about taking care of his weaponry than me."
"I am so sorry I hurt you," Berdy said. "I tore apart your family, I tore apart my family. Every day I have no peace. I think of you every minute and every second."
Sobbing, Berdy approached Anglin and she lifted her arms from her wheelchair to hug him.
"I accept your apology," she said.
Judge Netti C. Vogel sentenced Berdy, 58, of Newport, to 10 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions -- three years to serve -- with a seven-year suspended sentence and probation for one charge of possessing a machine gun. He was given a 10-year suspended sentence for a second weapon charge, and he will participate in a work-release program.
As part of a plea agreement, Vogel dismissed a charge of obstruction, felony assault and two other weapon counts.
Berdy's sentence will start Feb. 4. Anglin had requested that Berdy be able to celebrate the holidays before going to prison.
"I use the word 'victim' hesitantly because she has clearly risen above the injury she suffered," said prosecutor Stephen J. Ryan, an assistant attorney general. "She herself wrestled with the prison time because she felt bad for the defendant. It's a measure of her compassion that she asked that his sentence be postponed until after the holidays."
"You are a hero in my mind," Vogel told Anglin.
Anglin is a daughter-in-law of Berdy's friend, Maria Anglin. During a cookout at Maria Anglin's Warwick home, Berdy, a retired fire captain, invited Dawn Anglin's husband inside to see an AR-15 rifle, the civilian, semiautomatic version of the military automatic M-16 rifle. Berdy's weapon had been modified to be fully automatic.
Berdy pointed the rifle, with his finger on the trigger. The gun fired and a bullet went through the wall and the metal frame of a gas grill before striking Anglin as she sat on the porch.
Berdy disassembled the weapon after the incident and lied to the police about where he hid the parts, Ryan said. A search of the house turned up pistols, three machine guns and M-16 parts used to modify the guns.
"I don't understand why any law-abiding citizen would want to own a machine gun," Vogel said. "Those who have such a fascination should have been here today."
ADDED by RAF:
I was given the following info by a individual personally familiar with both the incident, and the outcome. I cannot vouch for some of the details.
Mr Berdy was a NRA Instructor, and was a member of my local rifle club. His entire collection of firearms (numbering in the hundreds) as well as ammo, etc., was sold at auction.
As divorce proceedings had not been finalized at the time of the shooting, I understand that the former Ms. Berdy is also potentially liable in the inevitable civil suit for damages.
It is unclear if Mr. Berdy, a locksmith, will be able to retain his bonded status, one which is essential to his job. He is now on work-release, spending nights and weekends in prison.
ALL IT TOOK WAS [B]ONE MOMENT[/B] OF CARELESSNESS.