Published March 30, 2012
A Colorado man was sentenced to five years' probation after accidentally shooting a woman whose red mohawk he mistook for a fowl that had been harassing his cats.
Derrill Rockwell, 49, told police that he grabbed his .22-caliber rifle and set out from his home Oct. 5 to fire at the bird after spotting it at the top of a hill about 90 feet away, the Daily Sentinel reported Friday.
"His intent was to spook it away," Deputy District Attorney Jason Conley told District Judge Richard Gurley on Friday, according to the newspaper.
But after shooting at the bird, the man said he noticed it didn't fly away and he reported hearing a woman moaning in pain.
Rockwell soon discovered that he had shot a 23-year-old woman in the head, mistaking her red mohawk for the menacing bird.
Conley reportedly told the judge that the woman may have passed out from alcohol before being shot. Police officers also found a bag of suspected methamphetamine near where she was shot.
The woman survived the shooting, but has since moved from Colorado and could not be reached by the newspaper Friday.
Rockwell was sentenced to serve five years probation after pleading guilty to felony possession of a weapon by a prior offender, the newspaper reported.
"In 15 years in law enforcement, this was one of the more interesting cases Iíve worked," Grand Junction Police Department detective Sean Crocker told the judge, according to the newspaper.