One of three white nationalist supporters involved in a shooting after Richard Spencer’s speech in Gainesville reached a plea deal with state prosecutors Monday.
Colton Fears, 29, of Pasadena, Texas, pleaded guilty to three counts of accessory to attempted first-degree murder during a pre-trial hearing, according to court records. He waived his right to a trial and will accept the punishment set by 8th District Circuit Court Judge James M. Colaw.
He faces a maximum 15-year sentence and fine of up to $10,000, the records said. Fears’ private attorney, Lucas Taylor, could not be immediately reached for comment.
His arrest came after Fears traveled from Texas to Gainesville Oct. 19 with his brother William Fears, 31, and Tyler Tenbrink, 29, to attend Spencer’s speech, according to Alligator archives.
Before Spencer took the stage in Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Fears brothers spoke to reporters outside the venue. Colton Fears wore a Nazi-era pin, according to Alligator archives.
About an hour after the event ended, the brothers and Tenbrink drove to the corner of Southwest 34th Street and Southwest Archer Road where they argued with protestors at a bus stop, according to the arrest report. They shouted chants at the protestors like “Heil Hitler” witnesses told police.
Tenbrink is accused of getting out of the car and shooting at the group after one of the protestors hit the car with a baton. No one was injured.
Tenbrink later told officers he fired the gun, police said. Detectives believe the Fears brothers encouraged Tenbrink to shoot. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder and possession of a weapon as a felon.
Colton Fears agreed to work with state prosecutors to testify against the accused trigger-puller Tenbrink, according to court records.
He is in the Alachua County Jail where he is awaiting sentencing scheduled for Nov. 21, and Tenbrink is also in the jail awaiting trial. Tenbrink’s trial date has not been set yet, Darry Lloyd, spokesman for the 8th Circuit State Attorney’s Office, said.
William Fears’ charge of aiding in an act that could cause death was dropped in April.