Piedmont man admits to shooting that left friend paralyzed

Michael Wisecarver
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A Piedmont man pleaded guilty to shooting his friend and leaving him paralyzed.

Michael Wisecarver, 49, pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated assault and commission of a felony with a firearm in a plea agreement with the state.

Wisecarver admits to shooting Chad Arnold at his home on Pleasant Drive in west Rapid City last July; although he says he doesn’t remember it.

Chief Deputy State's Attorney Lara Roetzel said Arnold told police that he was moving that day when he was shot in front of his house. Roetzel said Arnold told police he saw Wisecarver shoot him from the driver side window of a truck. Arnold was shot in the left arm and the bullet ended up lodged against his spine. He was left in his driveway overnight.

Wisecarver said in court that he wanted to kill himself the day of the shooting. He said he got really drunk and drove to a friend's house to talk. Wisecarver said he doesn't remember leaving his friend's house, waking up the next day to police knocking on his door.

He said although he doesn't recall the shooting, he doesn't doubt that it happened; adding that he feels horrible for shooting his very good friend.

Roetzel said there are statements from Wisecarver admitting to shooting Arnold; saying he was a "target of opportunity."

Wisecarver faces up to 40 years behind bars but the state and the defense agreed to recommend no more than 30 years when he is sentenced in January.