Main charge dropped against Beaver County man who shot girl dressed as skunk

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A Beaver County Court of Common Pleas judge dismissed an aggravated assault charge Monday against a man who shot an 8-year-old relative who was dressed as a skunk last fall at a family party.

Thomas Grant, 24, of Rochester, was arrested Oct. 25 and charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault.

His attorney, Steven Valsamidis, described the shooting of the girl in New Sewickley on Oct. 20 as "a freak, horrendous accident."

Mr. Valsamidis said his client shot the girl because he thought she was an actual skunk.

Common Pleas Judge John Dohanich on Monday granted a motion Mr. Valsamidis filed in early January to dismiss the aggravated assault charge because the district attorney had failed to show evidence of malice in Mr. Grant's actions.

Mr. Grant's trial on the charges of reckless endangerment and simple assault is scheduled for March 4.

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Taryn Luna: tluna@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1985.


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