Retired Wyoming Fire Chief Pleads Guilty to Hitting Captain

BUFFALO, Wyo. (AP) -- The retired Johnson County fire chief pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery for breaking the jaw of a fire captain at the annual fire district banquet.

Mark Haines, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 4, was scheduled for sentencing April 1. Circuit Court Judge John Sampson said he scheduled the sentencing late because the victim's medical bills had not yet been determined.

Haines said he and fire Capt. Peter Korsch had an argument at the Jan. 22 banquet when he struck Korsch.

``I didn't think I hit him that hard, but apparently it was hard enough to break his jaw,'' Haines said in court.

County Attorney Chris Wages read a statement from Korsch, who couldn't speak in court because of his broken jaw. The statement said that he considered Haines a friend, and requested that Haines be ordered to attend anger management.

Haines could get up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750.