Idaho man sentenced for shooting at helicopter

January 23, 2013 8:46 a.m. - Updated: 8:49 a.m.

WALLACE, Idaho — A North Idaho man who pleaded guilty to shooting at a helicopter because he was upset that it was flying too close to where he was hunting has been sentenced to at least a year in prison.

The Lewiston Tribune reports First District Judge Fred Gibler sentenced 58-year-old John E. Ross of Fernwood to four to eight years in prison on Tuesday. However, he could be eligible for parole after a year if he successfully completes a rehabilitation program in prison.

Ross pleaded guilty in November to felony interfering with or destruction of an aircraft. Two shots hit the helicopter in the fall of 2010, including one that hit a crucial part of its steering mechanism. The experienced pilot was able to land safely.

Court records indicated Ross had been drinking.

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