KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A local man who police said fired a gun behind the Stewart’s Shop on Main Street in October was given a suspended sentence Monday after pleading guilty to the charge.
Gary Gore, 45, of Pucker Hill Road in Bennington, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment and no contest to a count of giving false information to police to implicate another. He was given a six to 10 month suspended sentence and place on probation for one year. The state dismissed a count of disorderly conduct.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Joshua Stemp, on June 29 at 11:45 p.m. he went to the Stewart’s to investigate a report that a man had shown a gun in the store’s parking lot before going behind the building and firing it. Witnesses said the man, later identified as Gore, was in the company of a woman when he went in back of the building.
Stemp wrote he was told the gun was likely no larger than a .22 caliber based on the noise it made. According to Stemp, Gore was found lying on a embankment nearby with an empty gun holster. He told police at the time he left the weapon around some apartments nearby.
Stemp wrote that Gore told police he had fired the gun into the ground, then said his girlfriend shot it, then said she had thrown a firecracker at him. The gun was not located until the next day, and it was found to have been a .22 caliber handgun with one spent round. Gore was also found to have a blood-alcohol content of .159 percent.
Gore pleaded not contest to the false information charge stemming from his statements about the woman. Gore told Judge Cortland Corsones he could not remember what he said to police. Deputy State’s Attorney Alexander Burke said the state had no issue with the no contest plea as Gore’s probation conditions stem from the gun related charge.
Gore’s attorney, Frederick Bragdon, said Gore had fired the gun into the ground at a bank, not toward people or buildings.