Social media and shotguns

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A Hayden teen was placed on probation Monday after a Facebook fracas ended in gunplay and an aggravated assault conviction.

Colton M. Mayberry, 18, who was convicted on one count of aggravated assault, a felony, was placed on supervised probation for two years and First District Judge Lansing L. Haynes withheld judgment, allowing the teenager to successfully complete probation before deciding if the conviction will appear on Mayberry’s criminal record.

“This is a kind of social media disaster,” Haynes said at Monday’s sentencing. “People can say and act and do things on social media that they wouldn’t do in a personal situation.”

Although Mayberry pleaded guilty to the felony, Haynes reckoned there was more to the story.

“There was probably some tough guy (talk) on both sides,” he said.

Mayberry, who had no previous criminal history, is accused of shooting the car of another teenager with a shotgun, twice, after the teen and his three friends came to visit Mayberry at his Hayden home to discuss some of his Facebook posts.

According to court records, Stephen Koetsier, 16, and his friends sparred with Mayberry on Facebook in March before Koetsier drove his mom’s car to Mayberry’s Hayden home for a visit.

The door of Mayberry’s house was kicked in — no one took responsibility for the damage — and Mayberry appeared with a shotgun causing the boys to flee. There were two shots fired, according to court records, both resulted in buckshot striking Koetsier’s car.

When Haynes questioned Koetsier’s motives for driving with three friends to Mayberry’s house, the 16-year-old said he wanted to engage Mayberry in a discussion, not a fist fight.

“He said something towards me, and I stood up for myself,” Koetsier said. “I had full intent to talk … I’m not a violent person.”

Mayberry said he acted out of fear. He saw one of the boys carrying a knife, he said, and after hearing a loud crash that he attributed to the door of his house being kicked in, he went for the gun.

“I had to be scared to pull a gun,” Mayberry said. “I wasn’t taking any chances.”

Prosecutors asked for more extensive jail time for Mayberry, who had served 11 days in the Kootenai County jail before being released, but Haynes quelched the proposal, citing Mayberry’s mental health issues as reason to curtail a jail sentence.

“Jail is not a good place for people with mental health issues,” Haynes said.

He ordered 100 hours of community service for Mayberry, time on the sheriff’s labor unit and ordered Mayberry not be allowed near firearms for the length of his probation.

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