Wild West City owner pleads not guilty in shooting stunt that left actor paralyzed
by Joe Moszczynski/The Star-Ledger
Monday August 11, 2008, 4:22 PM
The owner of the Wild West City theme park pleaded not guilty today to charges in connection with a shooting during a staged gunfight that left a cowboy actor paralyzed.
Michael Stabile, 59, pleaded not guilty in Superior Court in Newton to 13 charges that include violations of New Jersey firearms laws; aggravated assault; tampering with evidence; hindering apprehension; and violating a law intended to protect the public safety.
The charges stem from the shooting of Scott Harris, 39, during a performance of the "Sundance Skit" at Wild West City in Byram on July 7, 2006, when a bullet struck Harris in the forehead and caused severe brain damage.
The shooter, then a 17-year-old fellow cowboy actor, accidentally loaded a .22-caliber revolver owned by the theme park with real bullets instead of blanks while running late for the shootout skit.
And who thought it was a smart idea to keep the real bullets anywhere near the blanks?