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Shooter gets 18-month prison sentence

A Medford man who shot a man staying at his west Medford property has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Christopher Michael Sheets, 28, on Friday pleaded guilty to third-degree assault before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Tim Gerking.

Sheets was sentenced to a longer term than is typical for a third-degree assault because of how seriously Joshua Lee Sandusky, 33, was injured. He was also placed on three years post-prison supervision, during which time he is not allowed to have weapons. Additionally, Sheets must pay restitution to cover Sandusky's medical expenses — expected to exceed $20,000.

Officers responded to reports of shots fired in the 1500 block of Prune Street in Medford at about 9:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22.

They found Sandusky, lying on the ground bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds in the parking lot of the Woodland Heights Market near the intersection of Prune Street and South Columbus Avenue in Medford.

Sandusky was treated at Providence Medford Medical Center, then discharged, but had to return for a later surgery, prosecutors said.

Sandusky had been staying in Sheets' garage. The shooting occurred in Sheets' yard and stemmed from a verbal altercation that escalated to gun violence, said Justin Rosas, Sheets' public defender.

In court, Sheets apologized to Sandusky, who wasn't present, his family, his neighborhood and the community.

"I would like to apologize. I didn't ever want anyone hurt in this," he said. "I'm not a bad guy."

Rosas said Sandusky was aware of Sheets' plea and agreed with the sentence, taking partial responsibility for the altercation that led to the shooting.

"It's a tragedy on both sides," Rosas said.

Multiple neighbors said they heard gunshots in the area and saw Sheets running east along Prune Street toward South Columbus Avenue. Some neighbors also said they heard and saw Sandusky screaming before he fell near the market parking lot after running into South Columbus Avenue.

The morning after the shooting, Sheets turned himself in to officers near the intersection of West Main Street and Perrydale Avenue. A handgun suspected to be the shooting weapon also was recovered.

Gerking noted that Sheets had come forward voluntarily and cooperated with police. However, the judge noted that the case showed the danger of having a loaded handgun.

"It's sad that we're here today," Gerking said, adding Sheets will get credit for the time served since his August arrest.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

Shooter gets 18-month prison sentence