Former Asheville firefighter Charles Alexander Diez was irate over the fact that cyclist Alan Simons was bicycling on a busy road with his 3-year-old son in a child seat. His solution was to pull over, confront Simons and then shoot him in the head. The bullet went through Simons’ helmet and just missed his head. However, Superior Court Judge James Downs found that Diez was having a bad day and his military record had to be considered. He, therefore, gave Diez an astonishing 15-27 months and then suspended all but four months. Four months for coming less than an inch from killing a man in front of his son.
Simons was walking away when Diez fired his .38 caliber into the back of his helmet. He was originally, and properly, charged with attempted first-degree murder, but a grand jury indicted him on felony assault instead.
Even with this charge, he could have received as much as 39 months in prison. Down felt that four months were sufficient so long as he attended an anger-management training and, oh yes, to pay $1,200 to cover Simons’ medical costs for damage to his eardrum.
What I cannot get beyond is not just the attempted murder but that fact that this “model citizen” tried to kill an unarmed man in front of his three-year-old son. Diez was not drunk at the time. Yet, Down believes that a simple anger management class should do the trick.
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