Charge dismissed in shooting of costumed child in Beaver County

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BEAVER – The most serious charge against a western Pennsylvania man in the shooting of a costumed child that police said he mistook for an animal has been dismissed.


The Beaver County Times says Beaver County Judge John Dohanich ruled Monday that prosecutors cannot proceed with a charge of aggravated assault against 24-year-old Thomas Grant of Rochester.


Defense attorney Steven Valsamidis challenged the charge, saying it required proof of malice. He has characterized the shooting of the 8-year-old girl as a “tragic accident.”


Police say the child was in a black costume with a white feather or tassel on her hat during a Halloween party at a New Sewickley home in October. Police said Grant thought she was a skunk. He was also charged with reckless endangerment and simple assault.


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