A Linton firefighter, Kent "Opie" Wall, who was charged with a felony last summer, signed a negotiated plea agreement this week -- he agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, and not operate a "SeaDoo" or similar watercraft on Richard Lake for 180 days.
The case against Wall, filed on July 19, 2012 following an incident on July 9, charged him with two criminal counts: Count 1 was intimidation involving a threat communicated to a law enforcement officer, a class D felony, and Count 2 was intimidation involving a threat made to another with the intent that they engage in conduct against their will, a class A misdemeanor.
Under the terms of the negotiated plea agreement, if it's accepted by the court, both of those counts will be dismissed and Wall will plead guilty to trespassing, a class A misdemeanor, when the case comes before a judge on Feb. 1.
The original charges stem from a July 9 incident on the Greene-Sullivan State Forest's Richard Lake where Conservation Officer Michael Gregg allegedly was confronted by Wall after investigating reports of a 13-year-old boy trespassing on a personal watercraft (PWC) the boy was allegedly operating dangerously.
Gregg, while investigating, reportedly determined while Wall owned part of the lake -- other sections were owned by the state and Alvin and Doris Clark.
Spotting the teen, who was reportedly weaving the PWC among the islands less than 50 feet from shore at high rates of speed, Gregg cited the teen's father.
"He was also allowed to operate without a driver's license, boater education card or direct adult supervision," according to the probable cause report.
The boy's father, Brett Kramer, was cited for permitting unlawful operation of the watercraft.
The conservation officer also reportedly informed Wall and Kramer they could only operate on the part of the lake Wall owns.
While Gregg and Linton Police Officer Chad Crynes were investigating on the scene, Wall allegedly threatened bodily harm to the Clark family and Gregg. Crynes reportedly recorded the incident.
Wall was subsequently arrested then released on bond with an order issued that he have no contact with the Clarks.
The city of Linton's Board of Public Works placed Wall on paid administrative leave Aug. 13. In December, they voted to take Wall off the city's payroll.
According to court records, Wall is represented by Attorney Joseph Lozano of Shapiro & Lozano of Bloomington.
A change of plea hearing has been scheduled at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 1 in Greene Superior Court.
If the agreement is approved by the judge, Wall will be sentenced to 180 days in jail with all of it suspended and he will be ordered to serve 60 hours of community service, pay a $35 fine plus court costs, have no contact with the Clarks, and be on probation for 180 days on several terms and conditions. Under the terms, while on probation, Wall may not carry or use a firearm or ammunition and he may not operate a "SeaDoo" or similar watercraft, or allow the same to be operated, on Richard Lake.