Whiteland man facing criminal recklessness charge after stray bullet strikes neighbor

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FRANKLIN, Ind. – A Johnson County man is facing a misdemeanor charge of criminal recklessness after he reportedly hit his neighbor with a stray bullet during target practice.

Deputies were called to shooting in the 1700 block of 125W in Franklin around 2 p.m. Oct. 14. When they arrived, they found the victim , Kevin Destrampe, in his garage, suffering from a gunshot wound.

The sheriff’s office says Donald Ethan Lawlis, 54, of Whiteland, accidentally shot Destrampe as he was standing in his driveway.

“It felt like a baseball bat slamming into your leg,” said Destrampe. “It hurt a bunch.”

Authorities say the stray bullet hit the Franklin father of three’s knee.

“A little lower it could have done more damage to my lower leg bones,” said Destrampe. “A little higher it could have hit an artery.”

Johnson County ordinance allows people to shoot guns on their own property, as long as they do it safely. Penalties for violating the ordinance can include jail time or fines of more than $7,000.

Sheriff Doug Cox encourages gun owners to be responsible and use common sense.

If convicted for the misdemeanor charge of criminal recklessness, Lawlis could face up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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