LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County judge sentenced the young Lufkin man who shot a mail carrier with a BB gun in 2014 to seven years of deferred adjudication Tuesday.
Jaylon Wortham, 17, appeared in Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District Court Tuesday morning for a sentencing hearing.
As part of his sentencing Wortham will do the maximum number of community service hours, and they will be tailored by White's office. He will be required to do community service that benefits public agencies like the fire department and the police department.
Wortham will also be required to complete moral recognition classes like anger management. He will not be allowed to access or use firearms or anything that shoots a projectile.
In addition, White told Wortham that he will be required to complete his education and that he must be employed within 30 days. The sentencing also requires Wortham to have a curfew; he won't be allowed to be away from his home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. unless he has a job that requires working during that time.
Another hearing will be held at a later date to determine how much restitution Wortham will be required to pay. The court will have determine how much Bobby and Lindsey Guthrey received in worker's compensation along with their out-of-pocket expenses.
Jude Paul White sternly told Wortham the only reason he allowed deferred adjudication is because he felt like prison would make his behavior worse.
Deferred adjudication is very similar to probation. However, with deferred adjudication, if the person meets the sentencing conditions and goes the prescribed period without getting into any further trouble with the law, he or she will not have a felony conviction even though the charge will still show up on a criminal background check.
Wortham pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony assaulting a government contractor or employee charge on July 30.
Prior to a previous hearing, Wortham wrote an apology letter and even came up to the Guthreys and verbally apologized, stating that the shooting was just an accident.
"I don't believe there is an I'm sorry," said Bobby Guthrey Jr. "It's irreversible. Once it's done, it's done, and I'm just glad it wasn't a bigger gun or we wouldn't be here today, we'd be at a funeral."
Tuesday, Wortham admitted that it wasn't an accident and that he knowingly shot Lindsey, to impress his friends.
According to a police report, Lindsey Guthrey, a mail carrier with the postal service was shot on the 1100 block of Sayers Street. Officers were dispatched to the area and reported Lindsey Guthrey was wearing a USPS uniform and delivering mail when she heard a shot and felt a stinging sensation at the back of her left thigh.
Lindsey Guthrey said she fell to her knees and wiped blood from the back of her knee. She told police she thought she was shot by someone in a group of people near the front porch of a house.
The LPD officers saw a bleeding wound which was about one-quarter inch in diameter, on her leg and believed it was from an air rifle shooting a BB or pellet.
Detectives interviewed people at the house and identified Wortham as one of those in front of the home when the shot was fired. Detectives interviewed Wortham and learned he had fired an air rifle in Guthrey's direction, though he denied intentionally hitting her with it. The report stated that Wortham said he was shooting at a bird or a squirrel, but did not know which.