A Philipsburg man pleaded guilty in Centre County court Tuesday to a pellet gun incident that sent a 13-year-old boy to the hospital.
Dean Vaughn, 27, entered a plea to endangering the welfare of a child, recklessly endangering another person and harassment.
Vaughn initially lied to state police at Philipsburg he and the victim were shooting at a cardboard target, which was hung on the side of a shed on Aug. 14.
Vaughn said he walked away from the victim to work on an electrical box on the side of the house while the victim continued to shoot the gun, claiming the child shot him in the butt with a pellet before being struck himself with a ricochet.
But later conversations with Vaughn led to a change in his story. He confessed he and the child were taking turns shooting at a target. Vaughn was 15 feet away, but the child was just 3 feet from the target. A pellet ricocheted off a shed and hit the child.
Vaughn hid the gun upstairs in the residence, according to court documents.
The child’s mother took the victim to a Philipsburg urgent care provider before he was transported to the UPMC Altoona trauma center by ambulance.
Centre County Children and Youth Services contacted the doctor who treated the child. The doctor said the pellet penetrated the victim about two-and-a-half inches above his right hip.
The pellet became lodged between the victim’s liver and kidney.
Vaughn’s sentencing is scheduled for March 19. He has been incarcerated at the Centre County Correctional Facility since September in lieu of $5,000 bail.