Violet Township Trustee Terry J. Dunlap Sr. was charged Monday, March 10, with negligent assault in connection with the accidental shooting of a student taking a concealed-carry class Dunlap taught last year.
Lancaster Assistant City Prosecutor Stephanie Hall filed the charge in Fairfield County Municipal Court. She said Dunlap would be sent a summons to appear in court.
Dunlap, 74, said he did not know he had been charged and had no comment.
The charge was filed after special prosecutor Jeffrey Hunter filed a report last month with the offices of the city and county prosecutors.
Hunter, who was appointed special prosecutor to look into the shooting, concluded there were no grounds for a felony charge because the shooting was an accident and Dunlap had not been acting recklessly.
Hunter said he was leaving it up to the city prosecutor to determine whether a misdemeanor charge was warranted.
Conviction of the third-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, Hall said.
Dunlap accidentally shot Michael Piemonte, 27, of Pataskala, while he was demonstrating a .38-caliber handgun. The bullet hit Piemonte's right arm. The shooting occurred Aug. 10 toward the end of a 12-hour day of training in gun safety.
Dunlap is certified by the state to teach classes for Ohioans who are getting their concealed-carry permits.
He agreed to a one-year suspension from teaching firearms safety and training classes Oct. 31, according to an agreement he reached with the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission, which certifies firearms instructors. The Dispatch obtained a copy of the agreement Monday.
The agreement says the suspension shall be in place for a year after the Aug. 10 incident. It also says the commission reserves the right to take further action regarding Dunlap's certification to teach concealed-carry classes.