Marietta man sentenced for attempting to shoot man in head

From staff reports

Marietta resident Austin Leroy Lightfritz was sentenced Friday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to felonious assault and tampering with evidence for attempting to shoot a man in the head last year.

Lightfritz, 20, of 116 Harmar St., was arrested in May 2018 after firing a handgun at Michael Kelley of Columbus. Kelley and Lightfritz’ mother, Stacy Thompson, were in an argument in the parking lot of Ohio Valley Cab on Lancaster Street in Marietta, when Lightfritz fired the gun twice in the air. He ran onto the cab office’s parking lot, firing again in Kelley’s direction.

Police reports note that Lightfritz then placed the gun to Kelley’s head and fired again, but missed due to Kelley pulling away. Lightfritz then fled north on Smith Street, while Kelley and Thompson stayed at the scene of the shooting. Lightfritz stashed the gun and clothes he was wearing at the home of his wife’s stepfather.

Officers saw security video footage from 401 Lancaster St. of the assault and confronted Thompson, who denied Lightfritz was there. Kelley refused to speak with officers about the incident.

Lightfritz later turned himself in and admitted to firing the gun twice in the air, later pistol whipping Kelley, causing the gun to fire.

Lightfritz didn’t say anything to the court in his own behalf before being sentenced Friday.

“The victim was there and didn’t want anything to happen to him,” said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Derkin.

Along with the five years in prison, he also received a mandatory five years of post-release control.

He was originally indicted by the grand jury and charged with one count of attempted murder, a first-degree felony; felonious assault, a second-degree felony; and tampering with evidence, for hiding the gun and clothes, a third-degree felony.