Man enters Alford plea in Island Park shooting

POSTED: 02:48 PM MDT Oct 23, 2012    UPDATED: 04:36 PM MDT Oct 23, 2012 
hillman, jerrod combined
ST. ANTHONY, Idaho -

The man accused of shooting his friend in the leg before leading Fremont County authorities on a four-day Island Park manhunt, entered a plea in 7th District Court in St. Anthony on Tuesday.

Jerrod Hillman, 34, of Madison County, avoided a potential life sentence by entering an Alford plea before Judge Greg Moeller.

Hillman's plea meant he admitted guilt to shooting his friend Monte Sommer in the leg with a 12-gauge shotgun on August 20. 

Hillman originally faced three felony charges and one misdemeanor including battery with a deadly weapon and eluding a police officer.  

He also faced a "persistent violator" enhancement that could have resulted in life imprisonment.

Hillman pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery and a deadly weapon enhancement.  The Alford plea deal means Hillman does not admit to a willful assault, but acknowledges there's enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty.