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Man involved in shooting pleads, still faces prison

Judge dismisses firearm charge

A man involved in a shooting at Woodland Terrace in summer 2020 pleaded guilty to one charge  Monday.

Judge Phillip Gaujot accepted Juan Trechsel-Valerio’s guilty plea to wanton endangerment involving a firearm. As part of the plea, Gaujot also dismissed a charge of person prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Trechsel-Valerio, who appeared virtually, said he wanted to apologize to the community, state and court and that he didn’t mean for things to get to that level “but somebody had shot my dog.”

He said the co-defendant in the case, Edward Kelch, broke into his house with a gun and that caused his dog to go after him. Trechsel-Valerio said he fired twice in the air to hold Kelch there until police arrived.

Kelch’s trial is scheduled for February. He was indicted on charges of wanton endangerment involving a firearm, cruelty to animals and prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

The plea requires Trechsel-Valerio to cooperate with the prosecutor’s office as needed, Assistant Prosecutor Chad Noel said.

Noel said if the case had gone to trial, it would have shown on June 18, at Woodland Terrace, Trechsel-Valerio shot a .22 revolver at least twice in the air endangering people in the residential neighborhood.

Trechsel-Valerio faces 1-5 years in prison and will receive credit for time served. He has been in North Central Regional Jail since June 19. Noel said the state will object to probation but will not voice an opinion on home confinement.

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