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Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Man who pointed laser at helicopter agrees to plea deal; felony downgraded to misdemeanor

A man who directed a laser pointer at a Spokane County Sheriff’s helicopter was sentenced to one day in jail with credit for one day of time served.

Janson L. McElfish, 42, signed a plea agreement to the charge of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, which was downgraded from his original charge of suspicion of unlawfully discharging a laser, which is a felony, court documents stated.

His sentence, filed Monday in Spokane County Superior Court, included 12 months of probation and a $450 fine, according to court documents.

At about 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 in Spokane Valley, McElfish pointed his green laser pointer at the helicopter flown by sheriff’s deputies. The pilot said the laser hit her helicopter twice for one second each. She was able to find the house on at the 300 block of Dishman-Mica Road from where the beam was coming and call for support from deputies on the ground.

Deputies knocked on the door of the house, and McElfish answered the door holding the laser pointer in his hand, according to court documents. He told deputies he wanted to see how far the laser could reach.

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