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Idaho teen pleads guilty, is sentenced for firing gun during June protest at Capitol

Michael Daniel Wallace.jpeg
Posted at 4:25 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 18:25:46-04

This article was originally published by Jacob Scholl of the Idaho Statesman.

A Garden City 18-year-old who fired a gun near a downtown Boise protest in June will spend only a few days in jail after pleading guilty Wednesday to one misdemeanor count of discharging a firearm in city limits.

Michael Daniel Wallace was given his sentence during the Wednesday hearing, which was held online. Ada County Magistrate Judge Kira Dale suspended all but 10 days of Wallace’s potential 180-day jail term.

The judge gave him credit for the two days he’s served in jail already. That left a total of eight days — half of which he will be allowed to complete through community service, for 32 hours total.

The remaining four days Wallace can serve in jail in different ways. He could be locked up for four straight days or he could complete the time on work release — meaning he could leave the jail in the morning, go to work, and return to jail for the night.

In addition to the jail time, Wallace will be placed on unsupervised probation for one year. He must also take a gun safety course that must be approved by the state.

Wallace will pay a fine totaling $657.50. The teen was looking at a fine exceeding $1,000, but Dale suspended $500 of it during the Wednesday hearing. Dale also withheld judgment in the case, meaning Wallace could petition to have the case dismissed once he completes all tasks mandated by the court.

Wallace was taken into custody on June 1 just moments after a rifle he was holding went off, the shot being fired into the ground. No injuries were reported, and Wallace was booked into the Ada County Jail just hours later.

Prior to his arrest, Wallace was seen pacing around a protest being held at the Idaho Capitol calling for justice in the case of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police earlier this year.

A witness to the shooting told the Statesman that he noticed Wallace earlier in the night, noting that he thought the young man looked nervous. Wallace could be seen wearing a black-and-white bandanna over his face.

After the gun went off, the witness told the Statesman that Wallace dropped the rifle and put his hands in the air. Police later said they believed the gun was discharged unintentionally.

Wallace was released from jail the following morning and was charged with the misdemeanor.