MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A Montgomery man who pleaded guilty in June to a second-degree assault charge after shooting a man in the head will serve no time in prison, according to court documents released nearly a week after the sentencing.
Circuit Judge John Rochester handed down a three year suspended sentence for Khalfani Hardwick. The sentence guarantees no prison time if Hardwick doesn't violate the terms of his three years of supervised probation. The judge also ordered Hardwick to pay his victim $639 in restitution plus court costs.
Hardwick admitted in June that he pulled the trigger and shot the victim, Clayton Riley, in the back of the head in 2014. He was originally charged with attempted murder, but his admission allowed for the attempted murder charge to be downgraded to second-degree assault. The plea also included the dropping of a second charge for damaging jail property.
Riley survived the shooting but said he suffers from eye and nerve damage, as well as migraines and seizures. He could be seen weeping in the courtroom during the June proceedings.
While the judge's sentencing also requires Hardwick not have any contact with the victim, Riley said in June that he is concerned for his safety and feels Hardwick will reach out.
"I'm just nervous to see him in the streets," Riley explained at that time. "He still knows where I stay, and I'm nervous he knows where I stay."
The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office recused from prosecuting the case due to Hardwick's father being a longtime circuit judge in the 15th Judicial Circuit.
Rochester, who is retired, was appointed to hear the case and had sentencing discretion due to the blind plea deal Hardwick agree to.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to clarify that Hardwick was originally charged with attempted murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree assault as part of his June plea agreement.