WATERLOO – An Independence man who fired a shot during a Waterloo home invasion in 2019 has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
After serving his time for a felon in possession of a firearm charge, James David Welton, 41, will be on supervised release for three years.
Prosecutors allege Welton was holding a stolen 9 mm pistol when he entered a Western Avenue house with Cassandra Dawn Wright, Larry Clayton and Joshua Bo Truax in an attempt to kidnap resident Ryan Butts on Oct. 19, 2019.
Authorities said their car was backed into the driveway and its trunk had been emptied.
A scuffle broke out when they tried to abduct Butts, and the handgun and a stolen AR-15 rifle held by Truax discharged during the altercation. One of the bullets grazed Butts’ face.
Police found several rolls of duct tape and flex cuffs at the scene, along with Welton and Clayton hiding inside the home.
Welton’s defense argued Welton had gone to the house to retrieve a purse that was stolen from Wright, and he didn’t know firearms were to be involved until Truax handed him the pistol when they arrived at Butts’ home.
The defense said the pistol shot was inadvertent, and Welton’s use of the gun was in self defense when Butts charged them with a machete when they entered the home. The defense denied Welton was involved in a kidnapping attempt.
Judge C.J. Williams sentenced Welton to 10 years in prison, the maximum possible for the firearm offense, and a $50,000 fine. He also ordered the time to run consecutive with state charges and cases in California.
Truax pleaded to federal charges in the home invasion and is awaiting sentencing.
Wright and Clayton were sentenced to prison on state charges.
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