A Mesa man agreed on Tuesday to go to prison for an accidental shooting in January that left his friend a quadriplegic.
Joshua J. Martinez, 22, faces a sentence of 3 1 /2 to 8 3 /4 years under a plea deal, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office spokesman Bill FitzGerald said.
Trial was scheduled to Stidham and pulled the trigger as a joke, police said.
The 9 mm bullet entered Stidham’s throat and struck his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the neck start today in Maricopa County Superior Court for Martinez, who could have been sentenced to as much as 15 years in prison if convicted of aggravated assault.
Martinez admitted to police that he shot Corey Stidham, 17, on Jan. 25 as he entered Martinez’s apartment in the 6100 block of Glencove Street in Mesa.
According to police reports and court records, Stidham knocked on the door of the apartment, yelled "Mesa police" and walked in.
Martinez, believing the gun to be empty, pointed it at down. Martinez told police he and Stidham had been friends for nine years. Sentencing is set for Nov. 18.