PRESCOTT - John Frank Heinkel III, found guilty by a jury of two counts of aggravated assault in the shooting of his roommate, was sentenced Monday to 6.5 years in prison.
Heinkel, 59, was arrested after officers responded to a 911 call at a residence in the 8800 block of Waco Court at about 1:15 a.m. on June 19, 2012. They found a 56-year-old female victim with a gunshot wound to her arm.
Heinkel never contested the fact that he'd fired the shot, but argued that he was attempting to break up a fight between two men in the living room when he fired the pistol. The round instead struck his female roommate in the arm, causing injuries that required her to be airlifted to a Valley hospital for treatment.
The prosecution argued that Heinkel actually appeared at the bedroom door of the woman while drunk and accidentally shot her there.
"It was never his intent to hurt anyone," his attorney, Matt Cochran said in court, noting that, as he was being taken to the police station, "he was continually asking, 'How is (the victim)?'"
Heinkel expressed remorse when he spoke to Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley. "I never meant to hurt (the victim)," he said. "I'm willing to help her out financially."
Ainley said, "I don't believe anyone, including the victim, thought you intended to cause harm," but that his behavior was still "reckless."
She imposed a 6.5-year sentence with credit for 286 days served.
"I hope this has been a valuable lesson to you," she said.