Man with bullet in head takes plea deal

December 2, 2008 4:11:52 AM PST
A Port Arthur teenager has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a case that made world headlines when police wanted to remove a bullet from his forehead to prove he tried to kill a man. Joshua Adam Bush, 19, has agreed to two years in state jail in return for his guilty pleas to charges of criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The sentences would be served concurrently. His attorney said he should be released soon since he has credit for time served.

"If you check the records you'll see he's been in jail longer than that two-year period," said Langston Adams.

In the plea deal Bush accepted Monday, charges of deadly conduct and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity were dropped, the Beaumont Enterprise reported in Tuesday's editions.

Bush had been accused of participating in a break-in at a used car lot in Port Arthur in the summer of 2006, but a Jefferson County jury acquitted him last August of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A conviction on that charge could have dealt him a life sentence.

The case drew international attention when police wanted to remove the bullet from Bush's forehead over the objections of the teen and his lawyer. A doctor was unable to remove the slug. Prosecutors eventually decided to try the case without the slug.

During the trial, prosecutors said Bush had been in a gunfight with the manager of the car lot and that was how he got the bullet in his head.

The manager, Allen Olive, testified at trial that he arrived at the car lot after police told him there had been a break-in. Olive testified that after officers left, he ran into two men he couldn't identify. He said one of the men fired a gun at him and he returned fire.

Jefferson County prosecutor Ramon Rodriguez said the deal was made because any subsequent trials would rely heavily on the testimony of gang members, which would not be reliable.

"We got a couple convictions, which did not force us to rely on the testimony of known gang members for the purpose of getting a conviction," he said.

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