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Shooting in drug deal gone wrong earns Mt. Pleasant teen prison term

| Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Mt. Pleasant teen will serve as many as 10 years in prison for using a gun during a drug transaction last year.

Keenan D. Frye, 19, was convicted by a Westmoreland County jury in July of drug and gun offenses in connection with a shooting incident on South Silver Street in Mt. Pleasant.

Frye was acquitted of the most serious charges, including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Police said Frye shot Josh Grimm, 28, of Everson four times during a drug deal on Oct. 17. Frye maintained at trial he acted in self-defense.

Witnesses testified that Grimm used text messages to set up a late-evening meeting with Frye to purchase marijuana.

Witnesses said Grimm attacked Frye, knocked him to the ground and sprayed him with Mace as Grimm allegedly attempted to steal marijuana and money from Frye.

The prosecution contended Frye pulled a handgun out of a bookbag he carried and fired four shots, striking Grimm's shoulder and left side.

In court on Thursday, Judge Rita Hathaway imposed a mandatory sentence of five years to 10 years in prison against Frye.

Defense attorney Emily Smarto said she opposed the mandatory sentence.

β€œHe is a young individual, and the circumstances do not warrant a five- to 10-year sentence,” Smarto said.

Hathaway said she was bound to sentence Frye as the law dictated.

β€œI also am not a fan of mandatory sentencing because it takes discretion away from the court. But five years might be appropriate in this case,” Hathaway said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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