Columbus — The Ohio Supreme Court is considering whether to uphold a sentence against a Portage County man convicted in a 2011 shooting incident.
Bobby Nolan was sentenced to 10 years in prison after shooting Travis McPeak during a fight that followed a night of drinking and drug use.
According to documents, an intoxicated Nolan “removed a gun from his pocket and fired in McPeak’s direction but pointing the weapon at the ground,” hitting the latter in the thigh. The victim fled the scene but eventually went to a nearby gas station and borrowed a phone to call the police.
Nolan was convicted of attempted felony murder, felonious assault and having a weapon under disability but found not guilty of attempted murder.
Nolan appealed, and the 11th District court reversed part of the lower court decision, saying that “attempted felony murder” constituted a logical impossibility in the case, according to documents.
Or, as Justice Judith L. French asked during oral arguments in Columbus, “... How could a defendant both commit murder unintentionally but also purposefully attempt to commit murder? Logically, how could both of those things occur?”
No one representing Nolan was on hand for the June 24 court session; Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said his legal counsel had car trouble.
That left Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Pamela Holder to make the case on behalf of the state that the conviction and sentence were proper.
“This is a case where we’re in close proximity, you introduced a gun into a fistfight and you aimed at him, you aimed at his leg,” she said. “But for bad aim, this victim would be dead, and that is something more than felonious assault. That is attempted felony murder.”
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.