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5:20 PM Thu, Dec. 13th

Arizona man gets 22½ years for shooting at kayakers

Danny Eugene Button (Mohave County Sheriff's office)

Danny Eugene Button (Mohave County Sheriff's office)

KINGMAN – Danny Eugene Button, who shot at kayakers on Burro Creek in February 2017, was sentenced Friday to 22½ years in Arizona state prison by Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert.

Button, 68, was found guilty by a jury March 5 on numerous counts of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct involving a weapon and endangerment. The jury was unable to agree on a verdict for attempted second-degree murder and kidnapping.

“This offense did involve the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon (firearm) or dangerous instrument,” the presiding juror wrote in the court document.

Four of the 16 counts against the defendant were dismissed without prejudice. Button’s prison time started April 6, and some of the time he must serve will run concurrently to sentences imposed for aggravated assault and disorderly conduct involving a weapon. He was credited with 84 days served prior to sentencing.

Button was arrested by Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies at his home in Wikieup Feb. 4, 2017, following reports of gunshots at the Burro Creek campground near U.S. Highway 93.

Deputies talked to two men from Flagstaff who said they were kayaking down Burro Creek in a group of four when they heard a gunshot and saw Button standing on the bank of the creek. They said Button fired four more shots, one of which hit the water just a few feet in front of them.

Brad Rideout, attorney for the defendant, had argued that Button was shooting on his property and was unaware of the kayakers.

After hearing the shots, the lead kayaker paddled away. Button reportedly ordered the other three out of the water at gunpoint and told them they were trespassing on private property.

The kayakers pleaded to be released so they could search for their friend, and Button eventually told them to take their kayaks back to the campground and get off his property.