MONTICELLO — A Cerro Gordo man who accidentally shot a teen-age girl in the head with an arrow last fall has been sentenced to a year of court supervision and public service.
Andrew J. Dick, 21, pleaded guilty earlier this month in Piatt County Circuit Court to a single count of misdemeanor reckless conduct, admitting that on Oct. 10, he shot a compound bow, striking Maci Webb, 16, in the head with an arrow.
Webb sustained a severe brain injury that left her unable to speak and with other serious physical limitations, according to State's Attorney Dana Rhoades.
Rhoades said the accident happened around 9 p.m. when Dick was shooting a bow that he had recently obtained. A friend was helping him and several others were watching at a home in rural Cerro Gordo.
Webb and another person were sitting in the bed of a pickup truck. Although they were down range, off to the side, Rhoades said, they were still in front of where Dick and his friend were shooting.
"There were basic safety rules that weren't being followed," Rhoades said, referring to the fact that the observers were in front of Dick. The other factor that made Dick's actions reckless, the prosecutor said, was that he was fatigued.
"He had shot in the neighborhood of 70 arrows and was a novice," said Rhoades. "From the information I received, 20 to 30 is the recommended maximum."
Rhoades said she discussed the outcome of the case with Webb's family and they agreed with the disposition.
If Dick completes the year of court supervision without any other problems, he'll have no record of a conviction. He was also ordered as part of his sentence to perform 50 hours of public service. Rhoades said Dick had no prior convictions.
"Any punishment he has through the court system will pale in comparison with what he has to go through (knowing he injured Webb)," she said.
Joe Schultz, Maci Webb's father, told The News-Gazette Friday that she has been back at their Cerro Gordo mobile home about two weeks. Maci remains paralyzed on her right side and has difficulty speaking, he said.
Schultz said his daughter was in Carle Foundation Hospital for 3 1/2 months after the accident, then transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Carbondale. He said he and his wife decided to bring her back home to continue her rehabilitation.
"She started therapy at Decatur Memorial Hospital (Thursday). She's got a long way to go. She's young. Her brain could relearn but she's never going to be the same girl we knew," Schultz said, adding it's a "miracle" that she survived the accident. "We're trying to get her as close as possible so she can be independent again."
He described their home as a "rundown trailer" to which they hastily attached a wheelchair ramp so they could bring Maci home. He said they would eventually like to be able to move to a single-story home.
"We keep thinking she's going to pop out of this but it's sinking in that this is going to be a long road ahead," he said.
Schultz said his family knows Dick's family and believes Dick didn't hurt their daughter purposely.
A Facebook page set up for Webb reports a spring fundraiser, including the raffle of a revolver, is in the works for the family. It can be found at #OperationMaci.