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Man faces reduced charges in apparent accidental shooting of costumed child

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 12:00 p.m.

A Beaver County judge dismissed the most serious charge against a man who shot a costumed child, whom police said he mistook for a skunk.

Common Pleas Judge John Dohanich ruled this week that prosecutors can't proceed with a charge of aggravated assault against Thomas Grant, according to Grant's lawyer, Steven Valsamidis.

“That charge would have required a showing of malice. Mr. Grant now faces two misdemeanor charges — simple assault and reckless endangerment,” Valsamidis said.

Dohanich ruled on Monday.

Grant, 24, of Jackson Center, Mercer County, is accused of shooting an 8-year-old girl whom he apparently mistook for a skunk during a weekend Halloween bonfire at the New Sewickley home of his mother on Oct. 20.

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