U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- The youthful Second Amendment supporter who made national headlines has reached a plea deal with the Green County Prosecutor. Dmitriy N. Andreychenko conducted his advocacy in a Missouri Walmart on 8 August, 2019, less than a week after a mass murder in an El Paso, Texas Walmart on 3 August, 2019.
Andreychenko wore body armor, had an unloaded, slung AR-15 type rifle, and a loaded, holstered pistol. He took a shopping cart into the Walmart while videoing himself on his phone. Police arrested Dmitriy on a charge of a terrorist threat in the first degree. The prosecutor initially charged him with a terrorist threat in the second degree. I predicted the prosecutor would not charge him with a first degree threat. The conduct did not match the charge.
The video demonstrates Dmitriy was calm and cooperative with the police.
The surveillance video of Dmitriy inside the store does not seem to have been released to the public.
On August 14, I predicted the prosecutor was aiming for a plea bargain to a charge of terrorist threat in the third degree, “Causing a false belief or fear”.
Dmitriy consistently told the story that he was testing his Second Amendment rights, and he expected Walmart management to talk to him, not pull a fire alarm. The Third degree terrorist threat is probably the prosecutor's target.
The prosecutor and defense have agreed on a plea bargain to a somewhat reduced charge from the third degree terrorist threat, which is a class A misdemeanor. Dmitriy has agreed to a plea of “knowingly causing a false report to be made”, which is a class B misdemeanor. From greencountymo.gov:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announces that Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 21, of Battlefield, Missouri, entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of the class B misdemeanor making a false report. In the amended charge, the defendant is charged with knowingly causing a false report to be made to the Springfield Police Department on August 8, 2019 that an active shooter situation was about to occur at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on West Republic Road in Springfield, Missouri. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant received a 180 day suspended jail sentence, two years of probation, with special conditions requiring him to serve 48 hours shock incarceration in the county jail, receive firearms training, and participate in a victim-offender dialog, a restorative justice measure, and any community service established through the restorative justice proceeding.
According to the Green County prosecutor, several witnesses noted similarities between Dmitriy and the murderer in El Paso. One witness said she had frequently seen people openly carrying firearms, but this case seemed much different. She had her boyfriend call 911.
A customer in the parking lot of the Walmart observed the defendant putting on his body armor and then sling the rifle across his front while recording. Based upon his actions and recent events, she feared for the people inside the Walmart and had her boyfriend call 911. She has never been bothered by people carrying guns in Walmart before but this was different.The manager of the store is familiar with individuals carrying openly in his store,but also stated this was different.
The investigation revealed Dmitriy was acting to protect Second Amendment rights, but exercised poor judgment in his choice of methods. Several family members had advised him not to use this method so close to the El Paso mass murder.
In the press release, the Green County prosecutor notes that open carry is a right in Missouri; that it is accepted and protected by the community.
Prosecutor Dan Patterson noted that in our community it is not unusual to observe fellow citizens openly carrying firearms in a responsible manner as is their right. This case is a reminder that any time we choose to exercise a right we also have the responsibility to act in a manner that does not threaten the rights of our other fellow citizens.
The plea bargain accomplishes several things that benefit both parties. For Dmitriy, it means he has no substantial financial penalties; he does not lose any Constitutional rights; there was no mention of forfeiting his firearms or body armor, so he should get them back. He may need them for the firearms training he is required to undergo as part of the plea deal. The “48 hours shock incarceration” requirement has likely been met by his initial confinement. He will be on probation for two years; but he has never been in trouble with the law before. It will probably not be a problem.
For the prosecution, it counts as a win. As a guilty plea, it precludes potential lawsuits against the County for deprivation of rights under color of law, and frees the Walmart manager from a potential lawsuit or prosecution for making a terrorist threat by pulling the fire alarm. Both sides get something they want; it is the nature of plea deals.
Most of us have had lapses of critical judgment in our youth. It is how people learn, mature, and take responsibility.
I doubt we have heard the last of Dmitriy Andreychenko. He has the making of a strong Second Amendment activist. He has been put through the fire. He has survived. Experiences such as this, when they do not destroy you, temper and strengthen resolve. He can spend the next two years concentrating on taking care of his new child and family.
The people of Oklahoma are likely to see the wisdom in this plea deal.
With freedom comes responsibility.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.