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Texas teen with bullet in head accepts plea deal

A teenage suspect with a bullet lodged in his forehead has reached a plea deal to settle remaining charges against him.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A teenage suspect with a bullet lodged in his forehead, who made headlines two years ago when authorities sought unsuccessfully to remove it for evidence, has reached a plea deal to settle remaining charges against him.

Joshua Adam Bush, 19, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. In return, other charges were dropped and he will be sentenced to two years in jail. With time served, he should be out shortly, his lawyer, Langston Adams, told the Beaumont Enterprise.

A jury acquitted Bush in August of the most serious charge against him, aggravated assault. Prosecutors said that he had exchanged gunfire with a used car dealer after a break-in at the car lot in July 2006. They contended the slug that lodged in his forehead came from the dealer's 9 mm gun.

Bush had claimed he was accidentally shot by a friend.

Authorities had obtained a search warrant after the shooting, but a doctor was unable to easily remove the slug because of bone growing around it. Prosecutors eventually decided to try the case without the slug rather than try to pursue other surgical options. At least one hospital refused to participate.

All sides had agreed that removing the bullet would not be life-threatening. But Bush's family and attorney said it would be a violation of the teenager's civil rights and set a dangerous precedent because a doctor would be putting the state's interest above the patient's.

At the August trial, prosecutors had X-rays of the bullet in Bush's forehead, but there was testimony that suggested the X-rays were useless in proving that the slug was actually 9 mm.

The remaining charges that Bush pleaded to Monday involve the break-in at the car business before the shooting there, and an unrelated shooting attempt at a high school ballfield in March 2006.

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.