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California man gets 6 years for gas station shooting

A Stockton, Calif., man was sentenced to nearly six years in prison Friday for accidently shooting a man at an Ashland gas station in August.

Michael Steven Goldsberry, 29, pleaded no contest in Jackson County Circuit Court to assault, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of recklessly endangering others.

Judge Tim Gerking sentenced Goldsberry to five years and 10 months in prison and ordered him to pay restitution of $28,502 for the Aug. 17 shooting.

Goldsberry and his wife of one month, Erica Monique Salas Goldsberry, 22, had argued while driving on Interstate 5, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Beth Heckert.

They pulled off the interstate and into a Shell station so she could call her mother from a pay phone there. After more harsh words, the couple were walking toward their parked vehicle near Eagle Mill Road when for unknown reasons Goldsberry fired a handgun several times into the air.

A bullet struck Douglas George Shelton, 48, of Ashland, in the shoulder. Shelton was taken to Rogue Valley Medical Center, and two other people in the area were also placed in danger by Goldsberry's reckless behavior, said Heckert.

"He fired a couple shots and hit (Shelton)," Heckert said, adding bullet holes were found in an adjacent U-Haul trailer.

After the shots were fired, the couple left, prompting a search involving officers, police dogs and a helicopter.

A tow-truck driver spotted Goldsberry's disabled truck on I-5, and police moved in to arrest both of the Goldsberrys.

Six weapons were seized from Goldsberry's vehicle, said Heckert, who asked for and received forfeiture of the guns as part of Friday's sentence.

Erica Goldsberry in September pleaded guilty to first-degree theft. A trailer being towed by the couple was determined to have been stolen, Heckert said, adding the new bride was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years supervised probation.

Goldsberry's public defender, Don Scales, said his client was pleading no contest to the Measure 11 second-degree assault charge, in addition to two counts of recklessly endangering another and a single count of unlawful use of a weapon.

Scales said his client admitted to reckless behavior. He'd fired off his handgun irresponsibly, injured a man, and would have considerable time to reflect upon his actions in prison.

"This is, once again, a good lesson to be safe with guns and not be firing them willy-nilly," Scales said.

Gerking sentenced Goldsberry to more than five years for the assault, a year on each endangering charge and 14 months on the weapons charge. All sentences will be served concurrently.

Reach Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email sspecht@mailtribune.com.