News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Probation for tavern shooting

A Mill City man accused of firing a gun in the air after a dispute at a local tavern has accepted a plea deal that helped him avoid a felony conviction.

Michael Elijah Baney, 26, pleaded no contest to unlawful use of a weapon Nov. 17 in Linn County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and three years of probation.

Prosecutors agreed to reduce the charge from a class C felony to a class A misdemeanor, and to dismiss a separate charge of recklessly endangering another person. Without the plea deal Baney faced the potential for up to five years in prison 

Baney was arrested Sept. 9 along with Trenton Willard Stafford, 31, after an incident at Trio Tavern when Stafford allegedly assaulted another patron and damaged tavern property. The two were kicked out of the bar and as they left Baney allegedly fired multiple rounds into the air from a semi-automatic rifle.

Deputies recovered multiple 5.56 rifle casings from the roadway and after making contact with the defendants recovered a short-barrel rifle and a revolver.

Stafford has pending charges of fourth-degree assault, second-degree disorderly conduct and second-degree criminal mischief, for which he could serve up to a year in jail. He is due back in court Dec. 11 for a pre-trial conference before Judge Keith Stein.

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