The man charged with firing a gun into an occupied Pahrump home last month will enter into a guilty plea agreement for the crime.
Nye County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Ferguson said Paul Allen Applegate, 21, will plead guilty to three counts of discharging a firearm at or into a structure.
“It is a Category B felony and each one of those counts is punishable by one to six years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000,” he said. “Parole and probation will prepare the pre-sentencing investigation report and obviously we will fashion our arguments based on the information contained in the report as well as consideration of the actual act that he had committed.”
Applegate, of Pahrump, was taken into custody on Jan. 6, five days after the shooting. He originally faced preliminary charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
According to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to a report of shots fired at a residence just before 8 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
Deputies discovered several bullet holes in the front wall and window of the victim’s residence, with some rounds entering near where the residents were seated at the time.
No one was struck by the rounds.
Bullets recovered from the scene appeared to be from a .38 caliber firearm, deputies said.
During their investigation, deputies spoke to residents in the neighborhood, who all reported hearing two separate series of several shots fired, roughly two minutes apart.
According to the sheriff’s office, several residents reported the victim’s dog killed another woman’s dog in Nov. 2014 and the woman was still upset about it.
Detectives eventually interviewed Applegate and his mother, the woman who lost her dog more than a year prior.
According to detectives, the pair lived two houses from the victim’s home.
In the wake of their investigation, detectives learned the mother did in fact own a .38 caliber handgun, which was unaccounted for.
Several .38 caliber rounds, along with two spent shells, were located in and around the property.
Later, during the investigation, deputies said Applegate did confess to the shooting in retaliation for the dog attack.
“He stated that he stood outside the victim’s house and shot several rounds in the air and then hid in some bushes,” the arrest report stated. “Applegate stated that he didn’t feel satisfied, so he reloaded the gun and fired several more shots into the house. He expressed a desire to kill the residents for the anguish his mother suffered over the loss of her Pomeranian.”
He remains in custody on a $135,000 cash bail or $265,000 bond.
Ferguson, who refused to speculate on the motive said the outcome revealed, “People do bad things for all kinds of bad reasons,” he noted. “There are rarely any good ones. If he did this because of some ax that he had to grind for something that happened more than a year ago, then he probably should have let that go. It certainly didn’t do any good for the victims of the crime and it didn’t do him any good. It’s just going to be a loss all the way around. It’s unfortunate from every angle.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org