A Bibb County man accused of threatening to kill four gun-range employees and blow up the business pleaded "no contest" Tuesday to four misdemeanor charges.
Kinnan Ghali, a recent Mercer Law School graduate, now plans to take the Georgia bar exam after completing his 12-month probation, according to his lawyer.
According to a news release from District Attorney David Cooke, Ghali entered the Eagle Gun Range on Woodfield Drive in June 2014 and asked questions about buying a Glock.
After talking to the owner, according to Cooke, "Ghali began yelling and using profanity as he threatened to kill the owner and the store's employees by burning the business down or blowing it up. The employees ushered Ghali outside where he continued to make threats."
Superior Court Judge Howard Simms accepted his attorney's request that Ghali be sentenced as a first offender and placed on a year's probation.
If Ghali successfully completes his sentence, the news release says, he won't have a felony record. But if he violates terms of his probation, he can be sentenced to up to four years in prison.
In addition, the release says, Ghali is barred from any contact with the gun range, its owner or the employees.
By email, his lawyer, Steve Sadow of Atlanta, said Ghali graduated from Mercer Law School in May 2017. After completing his 12-month misdemeanor probation, Sadow wrote, Ghali intends to apply to take the Georgia bar examination with the hope of becoming a lawyer.
In a Facebook post on the case, Sadow wrote, "After two years of negotiating for four misdemeanors, DA's office finally relented and agreed...."
"This was very important as client is a recent law school grad and a felony would have effectively ended his law career before it started," Sadow wrote in the post. "Now he has a fighting chance to sit for the bar exam upon completion of probation."
In the news release, Cooke wrote, "Mr. Ghali is lucky this case didn't end in a tragedy. I hope he can learn from this."
The gun-range dispute is not the first high-profile case Ghali's been connected to.
In 2013, he was charged with obstructing law officers at his home on Lake Tobesofkee. That happened after his brother, Basil Ghali, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault for allegedly shooting at fishermen on the lake.
Amy Leigh Womack, a spokesperson in the district attorney's office, said the obstruction charge against Kinnan Ghali was dropped in December 2016 due to insufficient evidence.