Plea Agreement Changed, New Hearing Scheduled For Shooter

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The proposed plea agreement for a man accused of firing a shot that paralyzed his then girlfriend has been changed after it was rejected by Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill.

Frederick Para Ortiz, 19, is accused of firing the gun that left Susan Crim, now 18, a quadriplegic for life. The shot hit Crim in the neck, severing her spine.

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Frederick Para Ortiz

At a status hearing on Tuesday, Ortiz's attorney, David Bednar, said he had received the amended plea agreement, but has not discussed it with his client or his client's parents.

The original plea-bargain stated that the felony for firing a gun could be later reduced to a misdemeanor.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Patti Wortman told Superior Court Judge Robert Duber that the possibility of turning the felony into a misdemeanor at a later date had been removed from the plea-bargain.

She said she modified the plea deal after Judge Cahill rejected the original agreement in September.

Bednar asked for a two-week continuance to give him time to go over the modified plea.

Duber asked Crim, who attended the hearing telephonically from Flint, Mich., if she would attend the hearing in person if there was a change in the plea.

She said she would probably not attend, but added that it depended on the contents of the plea agreement.

Crim has read the modified plea-bargain, and is unhappy with it.

"I don't agree with the plea agreement and the punishment, and I still want to reject it," Crim said.

Duber asked Wortman if the victim's statements changed her mind about the proposed plea.

Wortman said she wanted to proceed with the plea.

"I see no other way to go," she said.

Because Duber will not be available in Payson in November, he scheduled a hearing on whether the plea will be accepted by Ortiz at 1 p.m. Nov. 8 in Globe.

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