A supporter of former President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to felony charges for firing his handgun into a carful of Black girls who were arguing with pro-Trump agitators near the Iowa Capitol last December, injuring one, reports the Associated Press.
Michael McKinney, 26, pleaded guilty Wednesday to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and willful injury, charges that each carry up to 10 years in prison. He’s expected to receive a prison term at his Aug. 9 sentencing, but the parole board may determine how long he actually serves.
Under a plea agreement that a prosecutor called “generous,” the state will dismiss four charges including attempted murder and won’t seek sentencing enhancements that would require McKinney to serve a mandatory minimum of five years on each count before becoming eligible for parole.
McKinney, an Army veteran and resident of Saint Charles, Iowa, admitted that he intentionally fired into the girls’ vehicle, “causing the occupants to fear serious injury from my action.” He acknowledged that one of the girls, 15, was shot in the leg and seriously injured.
His trial had been scheduled for Monday and McKinney had been expected to argue he fired in self-defense after the girls’ car backed into a Trump supporter’s pickup truck.
Assistant Polk County Attorney Olubunmi Salami pushed McKinney to accept the plea deal, which he noted in a filing would drastically reduce his prison sentence. Had McKinney been convicted on all counts at trial, he would have been required to serve 32 years behind bars. McKinney’s lawyer can argue at sentencing that whatever prison terms he receives on each count should run concurrently.