Accused AK-47 shooter gets 2 charges dropped in plea deal

Teen who shot at police gets attempted murder of law enforcement charges dropped

Published On: Feb 20 2013 06:00:25 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 20 2013 06:42:38 PM EST
David Alyn Penney
ORLANDO, Fla. -

The teen who unloaded more than 100 rounds at police with two AK-47s, hurting two police officers, won't be sentenced to life behind bars with a new plea deal.

Police say David Penney, 20, could now face a minimum of eight years to a maximum of 55 years in state prison because of the plea deal.

Penney, then 18, was dressed in camouflage when he opened fire on Alabama Avenue in November 2011 and then tried to take his own life, according to authorities.

State attorney Jeff Ashton said at a news conference on Wednesday that Penney was going to use an insanity defense during his trial but instead, on Monday, made a plea deal that dropped two charges of attempted murder of law enforcement officers.

"The community will have to wait until sentencing to understand better," Ashton said. "At sentencing, if the judge decided to give him 10 years, and determines that is what justice requires, than I full support the judge in that determination."

St. Cloud Police Chief Peter Gauntlett says he doesn't think that's justice.

"The actions of David Penny justify life in prison based on the violent nature of what he did that night," said Gauntlett. "Candidly I would like to see it as strong as possible, if I could pit a number on it, Id ask the judge, a max of 50 years would be submissible in this case."

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 19. Gauntlett tells Local 6 he'll be fighting for his officers, testifying before Judge John Morgan.