An 18-year-old charged in the shooting of two boys in a botched drug deal last summer pleaded guilty Thursday morning to a lower charge.
Dylan Conat pleaded guilty in Missoula County District Court to criminal endangerment, which prosecutors swapped for the original charge of assault with a weapon on after Conat OK'd a plea agreement in April.
Conat said in detailed testimony last year that he was planning to sell some marijuana to a friend of two boys he met at the mall. They walked to Sentinel High School and he said when they reached the school grounds, the two boys jumped him.
Conat said he had only hoped to stop the assault when he reached into his pocket and drew his pistol on the other two boys. He said at the hearing last October the gun went off when one of them tried to wrestle it away. After the shots rang out, hitting one of the boys in the face and the other in the chest, Conat fled. He wasn’t arrested until several weeks later after police issued an alert naming him.
In the Thursday hearing, Conat also admitted to an assault charge in juvenile court. In that case, which was already filed before the shooting, Conat was accused of pepper spraying another juvenile.
Conat must undergo a pre-sentence evaluation before his sentencing.