Suspended jail time, probation for alleged gun assault

Judge said intent was to cause fear, whether or not gun was real

A 23-year-old man received a 180-day suspended jail sentence with two years probation for allegedly pulling a gun on another person at a Juneau gas station earlier this summer.

Joshua Andrews pleaded guilty to a reduced charge during his arraignment Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court.

Prosecutors say Andrews pointed a gun at a person, Neil Javier, on July 7 at the Safeway gas station.

District Attorney David Brower said the two were in a dispute, and Andrews blamed Javier for damaging his car.

According to an affidavit, Javier reported to police that Andrews drove up to him and a friend at the gas station, made threatening comments and flashed the gun, pulled the clip out and showed him the bullet.

Andrews was indicted Friday on one count of third-degree assault, a felony. He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, on Tuesday.

Despite entering a guilty plea, Andrews maintains the gun was fake — he says it was a squirt gun. Andrews appeared at the hearing by phone from Florence, Ariz., where he now lives.

Judge Philip Pallenberg accepted the plea agreement that was reached with prosecutors and imposed the sentence. Pallenberg noted that there was no conclusive proof of whether it was real or fake gun, but that, “the only conceivable intent in doing that was to make the person think it was a real gun, which is an attempt to place someone in fear,” Pallenberg said.

The judge added, “Maybe I’m being too flippant about it, but Mr. Andrews said that gun couldn’t hurt somebody because it was only a squirt gun, and it tempted me to say that ‘Squirt guns don’t hurt people, people hurt people.’ And clearly the intent was to make Mr. Javier think that Mr. Andrews could hurt him, and you don’t pull a squirt gun on somebody that you’re having a disagreement with and say something rude to them unless you want them to think you’re a dangerous person who isn’t to be trifled with.”

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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