My name is Thomas Wade Carter, age 18. I have recently graduated from high school. I work at an auto parts store. I was totally shocked when I was arrested for shooting Oscar Hanks. I have never been in serious trouble before. I was suspended from high school once or twice because of problems with other guys, but they always started the fights, not me.
Gail Duran is my girlfriend. She and I have been going together for about a year. I went to her party on July 5 and had a good time drinking beer with my friends until I got in a fight with a dozen other guys around 3 a.m. During the fight, I was struck in the back of the head with a beer bottle. Joel Robertson and some others at the party took me to the hospital. It took five stitches to close the wound on my scalp.
The next day (July 6), I called Gail and told her I was all right and that I would be dropping by later in the day. I was angry with Oscar and wanted to pay him back some way. So I decided to but a fake gun and scare him a little. After picking up the fake gun, I stopped by Joel Robertson's apartment around 5 p.m. I knew he was a hunter and he collected guns, I wanted to show him the gun I brought to see if it looked real enough. Joel told me the gun did not look real and that Oscar would laugh at me. I didn’t care what Joel said, the gun looked real enough to me. I left Joel's place and went over to see Gail. I showed her the gun and she told me I was crazy and that I should just let it go.