A Broomfield High School champion wrestler accused of shooting an off-duty police officer with an airsoft gun could face up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine after pleading guilty Wednesday to third-degree assault.
Cory Casady pleaded guilty to the Class 1 misdemeanor as part of plea agreement reached after nearly three months of negotiations with prosecutors. In return for the plea, the original charges of reckless endangerment and felony menacing will be dropped.
The charges stem from an April 9 incident in which 18-year-old Casady shot Thornton police officer Shawn Walsh twice in the head with an airsoft gun, according to court records.
Walsh was driving on Eagle Way, near Broomfield High, when a car driven by Casady passed him, according to police accounts. Casady allegedly slowed down, yelled at the officer, brandished a weapon and fired twice. Walsh, who was struck in the temple but uninjured, followed the vehicle until it was stopped by Broomfield officers.
Casady was arrested and held in Broomfield County jail overnight before being released on $5,000 bond, which was later reduced to $1,000.
Three juvenile passengers in the car, who were questioned by police but cleared of wrongdoing, said Casady mistook the officer for a friend and was "just playing around."
Broomfield District Attorney Jim Colgan asked that Casady be sentenced at a later time so Walsh could be present, adding the conditions of Casady's bond had elements to "keep him in line" until then.
The court previously ordered the teen, now a senior at Broomfield High, could only drive to and from school and school events and couldn't carry minor passengers, with the exception of his younger brother.
Colgan said he won't decide what sentence he'll seek in the case until receiving reports from Broomfield High and Casady's psychologist and talking more with Walsh.
In addition to that sentencing information, Judge Amy Bockman asked prosecutors for more information on the type of gun used in the incident.
"It's somewhere between an air gun and a BB gun," Colgan said, adding it would be difficult to cause physical damage with the weapon unless a victim was struck in the eye.
The guns vary in style, from the clear, spring-loaded variety lobbing hollow BB-like pellets to gas- and Co2-powered models that fire with higher velocity and can look realistic.
The specific airsoft gun used in the incident was a clear, handgun-style weapon with an orange tip, said Casady's attorney Craig Johnson. Walsh told officers at the time of the shooting he thought he had been hit with a real gun, saying "I've just been shot and I don't feel any pain," according to the arrest affidavit.
Casady's sentencing hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 10. His bond was continued.