A Durango man who shot a rifle into his neighbor’s house and threatened a police officer with the gun pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony menacing and prohibited use of a firearm.
Ian Kenneth Meier, 21, faces a stipulated 90 days in jail and up to five years on probation after signing a plea agreement with the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
District Judge Jeffrey Wilson is expected to formally approve the plea agreement at 9 a.m. May 5.
According to an arrest affidavit, Meier said he was drinking alcohol and cleaning his AR15 semi-automatic rifle about 11:30 p.m. July 24 when the weapon accidentally discharged two rounds.
One of the shots entered his neighbor’s house and passed over the top of a bed where someone was sleeping.
When police arrived, Meier stepped into an open doorway and raised his weapon toward Durango Police Officer Bryan Heaton, who was 20 to 30 feet away. Heaton yelled at Meier to drop the weapon and fired two rounds from his shotgun, missing Meier with both shots.
Meier was arrested a short time later.
During an interview with investigators, Meier said he heard noises near his front door, and he thought it might be “some crack heads.”
He said he heard gunshots from outside and pointed his weapon at the front door and attempted to fire, but the gun malfunctioned. He said he wanted people outside to know that he too was armed.
Meier said he didn’t remember raising the rifle to his shoulder and denied knowing Heaton was a police officer. Heaton was wearing a standard Durango Police Department short-sleeved uniform with patches, a badge and a duty belt.
Meier, wearing khaki pants and a green fleece shirt Tuesday in court, said he plans to report to the La Plata County Jail next week to begin his 90-day jail sentence.