A former police officer, Zachery Dodson, who shot a man in the face at a DuBois business while off duty last February, has agreed to plead guilty in Clearfield County Court. The 28-year-old, residing in DuBois, appeared before Senior Judge Patrick Kiniry for pretrial motions, during which an agreement was reached. Dodson will plead guilty to charges of aggravated assault-attempt to cause serious bodily injury (felony of the second degree), terroristic threats/serious public inconvenience (felony of the third degree), and recklessly endangering another person (misdemeanor of the second degree).
The plea is open, meaning no agreement was reached on a minimum sentence, leaving it to the presiding judge. Kiniry ordered the Clearfield County Probation Department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation on Dodson, with sentencing scheduled for February 14th at 10:30 AM, sparking the cancellation of the scheduled jury selection (which would have been the next step in his criminal proceedings).
Dodson faces a minimum sentence of nine to 16 months for aggravated assault, with the judge determining whether he will serve time in the Clearfield County Jail or state prison. The maximum possible sentence on the aggravated assault charge is 10 years, with seven years for terroristic threats and two years for recklessly endangering, for a total possible maximum of 19 years.
The victim, Ani Myrtaj, 31, of DuBois, agrees with the plea, having since moved out of state and wanting to put the incident behind him. Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan P. Sayers stated that the plea agreement aligns with his goals of Dodson serving jail time, never being a police officer again, and never owning a firearm.
Dodson, currently free on $50,000 bail posted by Liberty Bail Bonds of DuBois, was involved in the shooting at Invictus, a multi-recreational facility in DuBois, on Feb. 19, 2023. Dodson, then an off-duty police officer with the Curwensville Borough Police Department and part-time Clearfield County Sheriff’s deputy, resigned from both positions following the incident.