Posted: Feb 28, 2013 6:22 PM by MTN News
Updated: Mar 1, 2013 8:53 AM
The Kentucky woman accused of bringing a gun to a Bozeman mediation, has been found guilty.
Mary McCulley, 54, is charged with a misdemeanor simple assault. McCulley faced a felony assault charge but according to the Clerk of Court, after 7.5 hours of deliberation, the jury voted on the lesser offense.
She is sentenced to 6 months at the Gallatin County Detention Center and has received credit for already serving 309 days.
During closing arguments Thursday morning, the defense reiterated that Mary McCulley, 54, forgot that the gun was in her pocket. They said that McCulley mistakenly brought the gun to the mediation and had previously been using it to fight off a pack rat that was tearing up her home.
The defense also argued that she had been in court for nearly 2 months and she could have pulled the gun at any point if she really wanted to.
The prosecution told jurors that McCulley had every intention of bringing the weapon into the mediation. Prosecution read a Facebook post they tied to the incident in part of which McCulley wrote, "If I have to become a criminal to fight the criminals, then I guess that's how the cookie crumbles."
McCulley was accused of threatening people with a gun at a mediation hearing in April 2012.
On April 25, two men sitting in the conference room of American Land and Title Company for a mediation in a civil case, say McCulley walked into the room, slammed two documents on the table and told them that was her final offer and they were going to sign it. One of the men said that McCulley's finger was on the trigger and he believes she would have shot him that day.
The men grabbed McCulley and wrestled the gun away from her, they said. They say they had to physically pull the gun out of her hand. During the struggle, they say McCulley kept repeating that the gun was not loaded, but when they examined it, they learned that it was.
"I think she would've pulled that trigger," one of the men said. "She never loosened her grip on that gun."
During the struggle, one of the men says McCulley bit him on his forearm and knuckle.