A 22-year-old man who police say drunkenly shot someone in downtown Durango has been charged with four felonies, including attempted second-degree murder.
Anthony Pappas, a Durango native, appeared Friday in La Plata County Combined Courts to ask District Court Judge Todd Norvell, through his attorney Joel Fry, to release him to an in-patient mental health treatment center. Fry said in a court filing that his client “exhibited behavior and made statements that could be indicative of undiagnosed mental health and/or emotional issues.”
Judge Norvell denied the request.
In addition to attempted murder, Pappas is charged with assault, menacing and tampering with evidence. The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office is holding Pappas on $100,000 cash bail.
Pappas allegedly shot Skyler Bowers, 25, in the back with a .40-caliber handgun around 2 a.m. June 13. The Durango Police Department found Pappas hiding behind a dumpster. Bowers was treated at Mercy Regional Medical Center for a gunshot wound to his back that “narrowly missed hitting his spinal cord,” according to arresting documents.
About 1½ hours after his arrest, Pappas had a 0.235 blood-alcohol level, almost three times the legal driving limit of 0.08, according to arresting documents. While in custody the night of the incident, Pappas reportedly said: “I planned to kill a person”; “I walk around town every night with my handgun”; “I just wanted to save the world”; and “... I shot a guy that was assaulting me. I didn’t even kill him.”
Pappas graduated this year from Norwich University – also known as The Military School of Vermont – and planned to attend officer cadet school and join the U.S. Army Special Forces. His enlisted start date is Sept. 3, according to court documents.
“(Pappas) has no criminal history, and we believe there is evidence that what happened is self-defense,” Fry told Norvell in court Friday morning. “This is not a dangerous person. This is an anomaly because he was drinking.”
But Deputy District Attorney Reid Stewart told the judge the attack appears unprovoked, making Pappas “an extremely dangerous individual,” who should be considered a flight risk. Judge Norvell said a $100,000 bail is “appropriate” and called Pappas’ statements to police “concerning.”
Pappas’ next scheduled appearance in La Plata County Combined Courts is Aug. 2.