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Man gets five years in prison for 1998 shooting of Broken Arrow girl


TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A Tulsa man who was granted a new trial in the shooting of a Broken Arrow girl pleaded no contest to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced Friday to five years in prison plus five years of probation.

Jason ``Casper'' Filion, 24, was accused of shooting teen-ager Brandy Thurmond in the head outside her home on May 13, 1998.

Filion was convicted in a 199 trial of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals overturned that conviction and granted Filion a new trial, ruling that a judge erred when he did not give jurors the option of returning a verdict on the misdemeanor offense of reckless handling of a firearm.

District Attorney Tim Harris said the Thurmond family agreed to Friday's plea deal because ``they did not want to go through another trial.''

If the case had been retried, the maximum punishment available would have been a 10-year sentence for assault.

Filion has been in jail or prison since mid-May 1998. On the new sentence, he will get credit for the 2 1/2 years he has spent in custody, officials said.

After he is released from prison, Filion must perform 80 hours of community service and undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

Thurmond suffered permanent, serious injuries from the shooting. Testimony at the 1999 trial claimed that she walks with a limp, faces speech and motor-skill difficulties and suffers life-threatening seizures.

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