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Man indicted on felonies in shooting

September 22, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - A Johnstown man was indicted by a Fulton County grand jury Friday on three felony counts, including assault, for allegedly recklessly firing a rifle and shooting a woman on Spring Street on May 17.

Joseph R. Miller, 20, of Cummings Avenue, was indicted on charges of second-degree assault, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree reckless endangerment.

Miller had been arrested by Gloversville police in July on the same charges in the shooting, which severely injured Danielle Schonfarber. The indictment says he "did recklessly cause serious physical injury" to Schonfarber by "recklessly discharging" a .223 Olympic Arms semiautomatic rifle inside a residence at 174 Spring St. Several people were in the residence.

"It was the early morning hours," county District Attorney Louise Sira said Friday. "At the time, they were attempting to maneuver the gun to try to fix some sort of defect and it went off."

The indictment says the weapon "was discharged toward and struck" Schonfarber, causing serious injury to her abdomen and hip. She is recovering.

Schonfarber, who lives outside the city, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center Hospital for emergency surgery after the incident. She was released from the intensive care unit by May 21.

Miller was indicted for allegedly possessing the rifle at the time of the shooting.

The reckless endangerment count in the indictment alleges Miller on May 17 showed "a depraved indifference to human life" and "recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to another person by recklessly firing a shot" from the loaded rifle "in the direction" of Shonfarber.

Police said in July that officers found the weapon hidden behind a shed at the residence. Police said Corey A. Wollard of North Street brought the weapon to the residence, and Miller was in possession of the weapon when it fired. Miller, Wollard and other occupants had been drinking before the incident, police said. Wollard was later charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Previously, police charged Michael Perreault, 23, of 174 Spring St., where the incident occurred, with attempting to tamper with physical evidence, a misdemeanor.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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