By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The chairman of the Carbon County Republican Party has pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless endangering after a judge denied his request to dismiss the charge, a Carbon County circuit court official told Cowboy State Daily on Monday.
Joey Correnti IV on Friday changed his plea after Circuit Judge Sustan Stipe denied his request to dismiss the charge stemming from an incident in October.
Stipe denied Correnti’s request because she said he had not proven that any person in the trajectory of the bullet he fired in October acted in such a way that would require him to employ deadly force against them.
Correnti represented himself in the case and initially argued that Wyoming’s “Stand Your Ground” law, allowing the use of force in self-defense, applied in this case.
Correnti did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Monday.
Correnti is accused of pointing a 9-mm pistol at Nicholas Chadwick in October during an altercation in Saratoga and later firing a shot into the air. He was charged with reckless endangering, a misdemeanor.
The prosecution has argued that Correnti used excessive force in the encounter with Chadwick, while Correnti said he pointed his handgun at Chadwick only after Chadwick hit him in the head.
According to a police report from the incident, Correnti was helping a woman move into a home when Chadwick, the woman’s husband, arrived and confronted the woman, alleging she was in a relationship with Correnti.
The report said Chadwick tried three times to grab the woman’s phone, grabbing her wrist at one point.
Correnti inserted himself between the woman and Chadwick, the report said, and the two argued briefly before Chadwick hit Correnti near the right temple.
Correnti then brandished a pistol, the report said, pointing it at Chadwick and telling Chadwick not to hit him again or he would “put (Chadwick) down.”
After Correnti fired a shot into the air, Chadwick left the scene, the report said.