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Michael Thomas Loboschefski will spend a year behind bars for his role in an altercation, last summer, that resulted in the death of a young woman.
The shooting occurred at Loboschefski’s residence on Johnson Mountain Road on Aug. 11, 2011. Joshua Hughes, 28, and Audrey Michelle Bryan, 25, were hit by shots fired from a .22 caliber rifle by Loboschefski. Bryan died from her wound.
Loboschefski had previously admitted shooting his rifle at the vehicle, but maintained that he shot in self-defense as Hughes had first fired a shotgun in the air. Last month he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and reckless handling of a firearm.
During the sentencing hearing, Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance called members of Audrey Bryan's family to the stand to testify about the impact her death has had.
Arlis Bryan III, Audrey Bryan’s brother, said that the death has had a devastating impact on his 16-year-old daughter, who was very close to her aunt.
“It will probably hurt for a long time afterward,” he said. Jo Ann Bryan, Audrey’s mother, said that her father found a text message on his cell phone from his daughter the morning after the shooting. It read “Daddy, please come.”
“It must have been her very last text,” she testified.
Arlis Bryan II, Audrey Bryant’s father, showed a framed photo of himself with his daughter that he said was taken a short time before her death.
“I can never, never bring this back again,” he said.
Darren Shoen, Loboschefski’s defense attorney, maintained that his client acted in self-defense. He put two witnesses on the stand, Winston White and Robert Loving, who gave somewhat conflicting testimony. They both maintained, however, that Hughes fired the first shots. White said that he did not recall hearing the .22 fired while Loving testified that he heard return fire from a .22 after Hughes’ shotgun blasts. He argued that Hughes’ action induced reasonable fear in Loboschefski.
Nance said Loboschefski fired 11 times and the line of spent cartridges indicate that he was headed toward his targets.
“You are not the only one on that occasion who engaged in wrongful conduct,” Judge James Updike told Loboschefski. “The only one who didn’t do anything wrong was the young woman who was killed.”
Judge Updike noted that the testimony in the case was convoluted. He said that he could see no difference in the level of criminal negligence between Loboschefski and Hughes. After checking on the sentence he gave Hughes, Judge Updike imposed the identical sentence on Loboschefski, sentencing him to six years in prison, suspended after the service of 12 months, along with three years of supervised probation.