Man convicted of assault in Widefield shooting

By Lance Benzel Published: December 4, 2013 | 6:45 pm 0

A 32-year-old man was convicted Wednesday in a shooting that left a Widefield man partially paralyzed.

Ian Whittaker's $10,000 bond was revoked and he was taken into custody after an El Paso County jury found him guilty of second-degree assault and prohibited use of a weapon.

Whittaker shot Leonard James, 34, in the back during a party at James' Widefield home on Feb. 12 and tried to persuade a jury it was an accident.

The Gazette has chronicled James' efforts to walk again after a .45-caliber bullet lodged near his spine.

The man recently was fitted with leg braces that have allowed him to move without a wheelchair for the first time since the shooting. His recovery is ongoing.

Whittaker's sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 5. The assault charge normally results in up to six years in prison, but that penalty can be doubled under some circumstances.

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