FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The sentencing of a man who pleaded guilty in February to a 2014 shooting that left another man confined to a wheelchair was temporarily halted Thursday morning after he made a statement that contradicted his guilty plea.
On February 4, Socrates Bragg Jr., 19, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of aggravated battery for the shooting of Dwayne Dies in October 2014 near McKee and Gay in Fort Wayne. Dies had been shot three times, and according to investigators, he identified Bragg as the shooter while he was in the hospital where doctors found that one of the bullets had lodged against his spinal cord.
Wednesday morning in court, when given a chance to speak in an attempt to indicate he had been framed, Bragg stated, “I had no part in this.”
A short recess was called for so the prosecution could speak with the victim’s mother and Bragg and his attorney could discuss what he had just said.
Because Bragg’s statement contradicted his plea, the prosecution considered withdrawing it in order to pursue stiffer charges, however Dies’ mother indicated her son wanted closure, so the sentencing resumed and the victim’s mother addressed the court.
A previous version of this article had a quote from Dies’ mother that said, in part: “I hope with you being incarcerated you learn something from this.” Dies denies having said that and claims that the only thing she said in court to Bragg was “be a leader, not a follower.”
The prosecution indicated that Dies would be paralyzed for the rest of his life.
Judge Fran Gull accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Bragg to 10 years with two of the years to be served on probation. He was also ordered to take non-violence counseling and pay restitution of $7,171.51.