Updated

Man pleads guilty to AK-47 assault in College Station

By KELLY BROWN

Eagle Staff Writer

A former Blinn College student changed his plea to guilty on the third day of his trial Wednesday, saying he committed aggravated assault with a deadly weapon when he fired an AK-47 at strangers following a fight in College Station.

Brandon Carter Combs, 21, entered the plea just after prosecutors played a taped statement he gave to police about the incident in which he says he was merely trying to scare three men who chased him down.

The crime is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. He is eligible for probation because he never before had been convicted of a felony.

Combs has two misdemeanor convictions — one for possession of marijuana and another for possession of a controlled substance, which was a prescription drug. His probation officer testified that Combs was sentenced for those crimes in November 2002, but he didn’t start doing any of his 120 hours of community service until after his arrest for the shooting. He since has completed all of those duties.

Prosecutors Jay Granberry and Rashelle Rhoden questioned witnesses who testified about the April 2003 incident, which started when Mark Allen Wendler and Combs fought in the drive-through of Jack In The Box on Texas Avenue.

Witnesses said the two exchanged words after Combs complained about Wendler’s choice of loud music, but the conflict escalated and the pair ended up in a brief fistfight. After passengers from both vehicles split them apart, the two met back up in their cars and Combs told Wendler and his two friends to follow him, witnesses testified.

Comb sped ahead as he approached his apartment complex on Harvey Road, ran inside and returned with an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, witnesses said.

He said he shot it into the air, but the trio told jurors Combs fired it at them as they tried to race from the Briarwood Apartments parking lot. One of eight bullets tore through the back of the car and through two headrests before stopping in the airbag. No one was injured, but the men ducked when they heard the gunfire, they said.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday in the 85th District Court at the Brazos County Courthouse, 300 E. 26th St. in Bryan.

• Kelly Brown’s e-mail address is kbrown@theeagle.com.

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