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Sat, Dec. 07

Man arrested in Castle Canyon Mesa shooting awaits word on murder charge

PRESCOTT - A man accused of fatally shooting another man who knocked on his door has been indicted on a weapons charge, but the Yavapai County Attorney's Office still is investigating whether to pursue a murder charge, a spokesperson said.

Peter Downing, 46, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon as a prohibited possessor in the shooting death of Brett Huggins, 40, a week ago. Downing has entered a not guilty plea.

Huggins, who appeared intoxicated according to reports, went to the door of Downing's home in the 6300 block of Copper Hill Drive in the Castle Canyon Mesa area outside of Prescott Valley.

Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, said a witness told them Huggins knocked once, Downing opened the door, Huggins took a step back, and Downing fired a shot. The witness called 911 and, while on the phone with dispatchers, said he saw Downing walk outside and kick open his own door.

Downing told deputies he did not know Huggins and that he noticed Huggins' hands were empty.

D'Evelyn said Downing is a convicted felon and that he could not legally own the rifle allegedly used to shoot Huggins.

Yavapai County Attorney's Office spokesperson Penny Cramer said Downing has been indicted on a charge of misconduct involving weapons, a class-four felony. She said the county attorney still is investigating whether the murder charge will be filed and did not have a timetable for the decision.

Downing, in custody, appeared Tuesday before Judge Tina R. Ainley, who reduced his bond from $300,000 to $100,000.

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