JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana man accused of shooting two of his family members in the head during an argument pleaded not guilty in court Thursday morning.
Gary Cooper is accused of shooting his brother and nephew, but his attorney says it was self-defense.
Cooper originally faced a long list of charges including two counts of attempted murder. On Thursday his charges were amended to one count of aggravated battery, and four counts of battery with a deadly weapon.
Authorities say over the weekend, Cooper got into an argument with his brother, Tom Cooper, and his nephew, Tim Wolfe. It happened on the family's "compound" in Marysville.
The situation escalated, and according to a police report, eventually led to Cooper shooting his brother in the head, shooting his nephew twice in stomach, and once in the head, grazing him with a bullet.
The officer who responded to the shooting, took the stand today. He told a judge that Cooper stayed at the scene, admitted he was the shooter, and said he did it to protect himself.
Cooper's attorney, Larry Wilder, says his client has nothing to fear.
"He defended himself, he had no need to run, he had no need to hide," Wilder said. He had nothing to be worried about, because he did what the law provides he can do. He waited. And he waits for his day in court."
During Thursday's bond reduction hearing, Cooper's bond was reduced from $50,000 to $25,000.
The victims' injuries were originally listed as "serious" and "life-threatening," but we're told they're both doing OK.
On the original attempted murder charges, Cooper would have faced 40 to 80 years in jail. Now, if judge agrees he acted in self defense, he'll face only 16 years if convicted.
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